Hate crime charges are being considered after antisemitic symbols and references to the Holocaust were painted in nine different spots through downtown Barrie, an area north of Toronto, Canada.
Swastikas were painted on the exterior of businesses in the core. The slide at Berczy Park was defaced with the names of Hitler, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and teenage Jewish diarist Anne Frank.
Barrie Police say the vandalism was first reported to them around 12:30 a.m. Monday. In a matter of minutes, they had a suspect in custody. Police allege the suspect was covered in paint, and carrying a backpack with paint and brushes inside.
A 50-year-old man faces nine counts of mischief. Barrie Police spokesperson Peter Leon says they have dealt with this man before but did not offer specifics. The case is still under investigation, and further charges are possible.
Mayor Jeff Lehman calls the case a disgusting act of antisemitic and racist vandalism. “I’m glad the perpetrator has been arrested,” Lehman wrote in a tweet Tuesday. “A further example of why as a community we need to make a collective effort to fight hate and discrimination.”
The graffiti has been scrubbed away.