Someone vandalized a playground area at a park in Largo with graffiti — some of which resembled crudely drawn swastikas, as well as other hate symbols.
The graffiti at Northeast Park appeared over the weekend of Dec. 9 and 10 at Northeast Park and Paw Place near East Bay Drive and Belcher Road.
In addition to the spray-painted graffiti on park’s playground equipment, there was a more obvious swastika symbol on the exterior of a small restroom building at the park — which includes a dog park and roller hockey rink. That graffiti had been partially covered. Another piece of graffiti roughly resembles a Celtic Cross — a symbol sometimes used by neo-Nazis. Another includes the letters ‘EU’.
Megan Santo, a Largo Police Department spokesperson, said the agency had not received any calls about the swastika and other neo-Nazi symbols at the park other than from the inquiry and images sent by The Gabber Newspaper. She said police have not received any other reports about vandalism or graffiti at other municipal parks.
Krista Pincince, director of Recreation, Parks and Arts for the City of Largo, said she forwarded pictures of the swastika and other graffiti provided by The Gabber Newspaper to city staff to have it removed.
There have been upticks of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents across the country, including some involving vandalism and graffiti, since the Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks inside Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza.
More than 1,200 Israelis died in the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas and more than 18,000 Gazans have died in the ensuing war, according to authorities on either side of the Middle East conflict.