The Kenmore Police Department (KPD) is currently investigating some particularly disturbing graffiti placed on the exterior bathroom walls at Rhododendron Park, sometime between March 16 and 17.
The words “boys,” “girls” and “trans” were scrawled in red paint above water fountains and a pet water bowl in a way that is inexcusable, denigrating and not representative of the Kenmore community, according to a city of Kenmore press release.
After being made aware of this graffiti, city leadership took immediate action and park maintenance staff immediately removed it. KPD is now investigating this crime under the state’s malicious harassment law (RCW 9A.36.080), which applies to crimes committed over a person’s “race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, or sensory handicap.”
Police believe the vandalism occurred over the weekend, but are unsure of the exact time. Anyone who knows anything about this crime or knows anyone who might be involved is asked to call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311 and reference case C19010322.
Immediately after being made aware of this incident, Kenmore’s city manager, assistant city manager and police chief Peter Horvath convened, took immediate action and discussed how this might impact our community, the release states.
“We are so sad, and frankly, quite disgusted to see this. I, along with City Council, have asked our police department to thoroughly investigate this incident. We want perpetrator(s) to know these despicable actions are absolutely not tolerated or welcome here. This act absolutely does not represent our inclusive Kenmore community,” city manager Rob Karlinsey said in the release. “To our community, please provide any information you may have on this to authorities. Talk to family members and let them know they can provide tips anonymously when calling in.”
Horvath added in the release, “While we may not be able to share the exact details during an ongoing investigation, we will try to provide updates on the case when possible. We know this incident may make some in our community feel anxious or unsafe. We have not seen any threats, similar actions, or believe anyone’s safety is at risk at this time, but please let us know if you have information we may not have. We would also like to remind everyone to immediately report graffiti to 911, so it can be addressed immediately.”