HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Vandals play "tag" at a local baseball complex, covering it with hateful graffiti. The damage was done to Lakeside Youth Baseball in Henrico County.
Monday was the second full day of work to either remove the graffiti, or paint over it...to make this a place where families can again feel comfortable enough to bring their children.
At a place where baseball is played by kids, some major league damage is now being washed away. Saturday night, vandals with black spray paint tagged everything from the shed...to the stands...to the back of the dugout, where league president Chris McCook was trying to figure out why.
"Somebody apparently didn't like someone else. Lotta girls' names, some guys' names. Lotta phone numbers were written all over the place. Lotta hate," McCook said.
The hateful messages were sexual and racial in nature. We've blurred-out the worst of it in these pictures provided by Henrico County...taken before the words were painted-over.
"Lot of time, lot of paint, lot of hard work that's unnecessary for us to have to do," McCook said.
Shawn Collins was called in to clean it all up. In between the spraying and the brushing, we asked if he could remember anything else so extensive.
"Three Lakes Park," he said.
In October of 2009, nearby Three Lakes Park was closed for a day when widespread graffiti was discovered on the trails, signs, picnic tables, and a van. The crimes are not believed to be related, except for their impact on children.
Ironically, at Lakeside Youth Baseball...the only place they'll see something beautiful...is on the trash cans that read "Keep Henrico Beautiful".
"Very upset. This is our home, this is where our kids, where our families come to. It's our home away from home and getting it destroyed doesn't make us very happy," McCook said.
So what happens next? There's no surveillance footage. But the vandals did spray down names and phone numbers, and police are looking at Facebook to try and piece this case together.
If you saw something unusual Saturday night, near the Lakeside Youth Baseball complex, you're asked to call Henrico Police at 501-5000.