Racist slur found on Fort Wayne Rivergreenway

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department responded to a racial slur spray painted on the Rivergreenway trail on Tuesday July 26, 2016.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Early Tuesday morning walkers, runners and bikers could see a racist slur spray painted on a popular trail, but before 11 a.m. it was gone.

24-Hour News 8’s sister station, WANE, spoke with one of those runners who saw the graffiti on the Rivergreenway between the Old Fort and Headwaters Park.

“First thing this morning is when I got [the report of the graffiti],” Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department’s Deputy Director Steve McDaniel said. “I showed up at 7:30 a.m. and it was on my desk. We dispatched someone pretty quickly from there.”

McDaniel said sometime overnight someone spray painted an offensive message including a racial slur on part of the Rivergreenway trail.

“We kind of put together a list of messages or graffiti that come up,” McDaniel said. “Those things that are a little harsher wording we try to address right away.”

This message was not reported to police. However, McDaniel said police are notified when there is graffiti involving symbols that could be possibly gang related. Fort Wayne Police unofficially reported the department worked 48 vandalism by graffiti cases since July 2015.

“Graffiti in any form is not a good thing,” McDaniel said. “There is art. Art is present in certain places, but [to] graffiti something on the concrete or a wall or a building is not the appropriate way.”

Right now is a busy time for crews.

“Not every day do we get something like this but we see at certain times of year– in the summer, spring, fall– we get more graffiti than we do in the winter,” McDaniel said. “Graffiti of some sort generally shows up in our park system or on the Greenway on a pretty regular basis.

To report graffiti, you can call 311 or 427-6000.

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