PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hateful graffiti was painted on a church and school in Northeast Portland, sparking a bias crime investigation.
Volunteers at a neighborhood cleanup event Saturday found the graffiti on the Trinity Lutheran Church and School on NE Killingsworth and called police.
Lanny Afrank, property chairperson for Trinity Lutheran Church and School, said he left the church around 9:30 p.m. Friday and the vandals struck sometime before 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
Graffiti was painted on the doors and walls of the church and included obscene language, swastikas, racial slurs, anarchy symbols and pentagrams.
Around 15 volunteers including parents, neighbors, church and community members were able to paint over the graffiti on Saturday and Sunday.
“We hope the people who have done this can see how great this community is, that we came right out and took care of it,” parent Cindy Fontenot said. “I hope they can learn a little bit of compassion from this example.”
Fourth grader Barbie Patma said she was sad that people wrote hateful messages on the school. She hopes the vandals have a change of heart in the future.
“They should stop the stuff that they are doing, and the world can change,” she said.
Afrank said he hopes people keep a watchful eye on the church in the coming weeks.
“It was sickening this would happen,” he said. “It’s just opposite of how the people in this area feel.”
Bias crime detectives will be investigating the case.
Anyone with information about this incident, including any neighborhood surveillance video, is encouraged to share it by email, CrimeTips@portlandoregon.gov