Sometime on Saturday or Sunday, vandals scrawled graffiti on the tennis courts and walking trail at Veterans Memorial Park. The defacement included a swastika and obscene drawings, said Great Bend Public Lands Director Scott Keeler.
“Over the weekend, Vets got hit pretty hard,” he said. But, the damage is part of a spate of graffiti seen on sidewalks and elsewhere around town.
The perpetrators are utilizing some dark black, rubbery substance that is proving stubborn to remove, he said. City personnel have tried power-washing the surfaces and scrubbing them, but with limited success.
If they have to, images like the swastika will be reworked and camouflaged to look like something non-offensive, Keeler said.
According to city ordinances, graffiti means the “intentional painting, scratching or coloring (with any contrast medium whatsoever) of any public or private property, except by permission of the owner of private property, by the governing body in the case of the city or the supervisory officer of any other public property.” This can involve an aerosol paint container, a broad-tipped container, gum label, paint stick, etching equipment, brush or “any other device capable of scarring or leaving visible mark on any natural or man-made surface.”
“This is defacing public property,” Keeler said.
City Attorney Bob Suelter said such cases would be treated as misdemeanor criminal damage to property. He speculated the markings were created by riders creating skid marks with the new electric scooters.