Norfolk playground hit with graffiti three times in two weeks

Ocean View playground vandalism. Photo courtesy: Joshua Grisoli

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – City workers spent time Monday cleaning a city owned park after a father contacted them about graffiti on a playground in Ocean View.

Joshua Grisoli told 10 On Your Side he first noticed the graffiti Saturday. He immediately alerted the city – and called 10 On Your Side.

PHOTOS: Norfolk Playground Vandalism

Grisoli received a city response to his Facebook message. The city worker said they would pass the information on to the facility’s maintenance and police.

“I want people to know that we’re paying attention and it’s unacceptable and just because they thought it was funny, we don’t,” Grisoli said.

Silver, spray painted graffiti covers the playground on Maple Avenue.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” dog walker, Kaelyn Williams said.

“It’s unacceptable; it doesn’t need to be there,” Grisoli added.

“It upsets me because they just built this for the kids to have fun and they’re just ruining it for the kids,” 10-year-old Kaeliana Cheshire told 10 On Your Side.

The written words include expletives and gang insignia.

“If it had been shapes and circles and things like that it’s one thing, but its vulgarity and there are kids that play here. My 3-year-old son plays here,” Grisoli said.

The vandalism didn’t stop Kaeliana and her siblings from enjoying the park Monday during their summer break. If she had her way this would never happen again. “I would have it where they can’t do graffiti and if they did they would get in a whole bunch of trouble,” she said.

Grisoli admits police patrols may not prevent it, but he thinks a surveillance camera would. “People see that camera, they’ll think they’re being recorded and they’ll think twice about it,” he said.

Late Monday afternoon, Grisolli shared pictures with 10 On Your Side showing city workers cleaning off the graffiti.

A city spokeswoman told 10 On Your Side residents should call (757) 664-6510 if they see graffiti.

In an email, Lori Crouch wrote, “Once the call taker receives the information, the work order is sent to the appropriate department to handle. If the graffiti is on city property, crews respond promptly and it’s usually removed within 24 hours. If the graffiti is on private property (for example, railroad or Dominion Power) we contact our partners to have it removed.”

10 On Your Side has also learned this is the third time in the last two weeks that graffiti has been found at the playground. The playground is relatively new. There was a ribbon cutting in May 2015.

Crouch said police are aware of the graffiti and are monitoring the area.

If anyone is caught vandalizing with graffiti, they can be charged with city code 27-44, Graffiti Prohibited, which is a class 1 misdemeanor.

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