UPDATE (3/6/2023): The Geneva Police Department confirmed that three people were in the area during the graffiti incidents. Police have released photos of what appears to be three individuals in hoods and masks walking down a street.
The Geneva Police Department continues to ask anyone with information on the above individuals to call 911.
GENEVA, N.Y. (WROC) — The Geneva Police Department is investigating a graffiti incident that took place Saturday night into the early morning hours Sunday.
A significant amount of vandalism was found throughout Geneva Sunday morning on businesses, parks and in neighborhoods. Police are investigating and called the graffiti hateful.
The first reports came into authorities from residents on Munson Ave., but throughout the morning, this investigation led them to five other properties all covered in the same graffiti displaying homophobic, sexist and other derogatory words.
Along the Lake right next to downtown, Seneca State Park is a popular spot for people to exercise or walk their dogs while enjoying the view. But this time their eyes were drawn to offensive language damaging the parks beauty.
“It’s very upsetting because it’s very widespread. It starts down here and just keeps going into the state park itself which is about a mile and half down there,” Geneva resident Shanna McTigue told News 8. “It’s a lot of graffiti that was done and it’s very hurtful words for sure.”
Dona, who asked us to only use her first, is a lesbian and recently moved to Geneva. When she saw the graffiti on the trail displaying homophobic and sexist remarks, she linked it to hate speech she’s heard online against the LGBTQ community and believes that trigger’s people to act out this way in-person.
They think this validates it and makes it ok,” Dona said. “I mean I’m afraid to say who I am and be who I am at times because I’m Jewish, I’m gay and I’m more afraid of the last few years I’ve been more afraid than I’ve ever been in my life.
Geneva Police also discovered the same Graffiti on playgrounds at Gulvin Park, the Geneva Club Beverage, and on Humbert Street. No arrests have been made but they’re asking people in those areas to check their front porch and doorbell cameras. Meanwhile, locals hope the community rallies together to stand up against this hate.
“I really hope people come forward and if you saw something say something. A lot of people have Ring Doorbell Cameras,” McTigue said. “So, hopefully they get caught and I think this will get people come together and give information.”
“The biggest thing is people speaking out when they hear things that are inappropriate, people looking out protecting each other,” Dona said. “I wouldn’t mind being a volunteer if we had a group of people out here to help clean this us. It’s also a matter of maintaining our educational system.”
Geneva Police said this is a first they’ve seen this type of graphic graffiti around town spread out far and wide on multiple properties.
Anyone with information is urged to call 911. Tips can remain anonymous.
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