Today’s news:

Hate graffiti defiles park

This time they went too far. Vandals left symbols of hate and turf tags at a park created to honor our nation’s veterans

On Thursday, September 24, Rachel Mazza, president of the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League, was on her way to the field in Bicentennial Veteran Memorial Park when she saw an appalling image spray painted on the sidewalk along the park.

“Throughout the park there are tags with the letters EPB along with the most hateful symbol I can think of, a swastika,” wrote Mazza in an email to community leaders informing them of the recent act. “Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park has been a target for vandalism for many years. This last incident is the most hateful and shocking yet.”

In addition to the swastika and EPB, numerous tags were found in and around the park on trees, street signs and a FDNY firebox. ‘Sweet Home Edgewater’ was painted across pillars near the park entrance.

“These actions are deplorable, unacceptable and indefensible. I want to be clear this is not a reflection of the Edgewater Park Owners Cooperative or shareholders alike,” said Keith Freder, president of Edgewater Park Owner Cooperative. “Whoever did this acted on their own in violation of the law. We have and will continue to cooperate in any way possible with a police investigation. Hopefully we can find out who did this inexcusable act.”

The Department of Parks and Recreation removed the graffiti shortly after the disturbing image was reported.

According to the 45th Precinct a complaint was written up, the Commanding Officer is aware of the incident, and although there are no suspects or witnesses the matter is being investigated. The complaint has been forwarded to the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit.

“We roundly condemn this incident. It is not reflective of the residents of Edgewater Park or Throggs Neck,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca. “The vandalism and the message of hate are both repugnant to everything we believe in, and we are anxious for an arrest to be made.”

Patrick Devine, chair of Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park Inc., hopes to see those responsible prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“I know the tag [EPB] and I know what is means, Edgewater Park Boys, and that’s a gang that should be prosecuted as a gang,” said Devine.

“It’s my responsibility as chair person to make sure park is taken care of by the community and for the community and if you get a few vandals, a few wise guys that don’t care, they have to be taken care of legally.”

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