After a newly built Pride crosswalk in Stratford, Ont., was damaged, police are investigating.
Officials were told of “hate-motivated graffiti” on the crosswalk at Wellington Street and Downie Street in downtown Stratford at 1:30 a.m. Friday, according to police.
According to police, “what seemed to be household paint had been thrown in many spots across the crosswalk, while a dark coloured spray paint had also been put over the crosswalk.”
Because the paint was still wet when police arrived, officials suspect the damage was done lately.
The crosswalk was cleaned using a pressure washer and street sweepers.
Police say they searched the area but did not find any clues as to who might’ve caused the vandalism.
For restaurant owner Kelly Ballantyne, the vandalism felt like a “punch to the gut.”
“The Pride crosswalk means family to me,” she said. “My wife, son and I went to take our photos there. For it to be ruined in one day, it was just a big punch to the stomach.”
Ballantyne said she had seen the Pride crosswalk in other communities and thought her hometown of Stratford should get one too.
She posted her idea on Facebook and received positive feedback, which pushed her toward making it happen.
The Pride crosswalk was completed Wednesday night.
Police are asking anyone with a video surveillance system in the neighborhood to check their cameras and report any suspicious activity.
Officials are also requesting that residents search their property, especially all garbage and recycling bins, for any evidence that may be linked to the event.
Ballantyne, for one, wants to see other crosswalks in the town painted in solid colors that are relevant to various people for different reasons.
“You’re never going to win,” she remarked, addressing those responsible for the vandalism. “Hate has no place here.” “Love always triumphs.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Stratford police at 519-271-4141, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800- 222-TIPS.