SAN DIEGO –A Hillcrest community landmark has been vandalized and many area residents said they are not surprised.
“We’ve seen an uptick in hate crimes around the country, so it was kind of a matter of time,” said Eddie Reynoso, executive director of the LGBTQ Visitor Center.
The plaque on the Pride monument and flagpole was badly scratched with a sharp object.
“Its disappointing more than heartbreaking, mostly because there are people in our community that are walking around the streets that would casually deface a monument – something that means so much,”Reynoso said.
Reynoso was part of the fundraising committee that created the monument. He said he was saddened, but not surprised at the vandalism.
“The fact that they actually took the time to scrape faces, to scrape the flag - its bit more calculated and it not just a random homeless person," he said.
They don’t know exactly when the vandalism took place, but it was first noticed a week ago. Policeare not officially investigating the incident. Benjamin Nicholls is the head of the Hillcrest Business Association. He said the defacing of the plaque only shows their work is far from over.
“It says to me that we need the monument even more," Nicholls said.
Jen Labarbera, a member of San Diego Pride, said the vandalism is strengthening her resolve.
“While this is a big deal and painful and a direct attack on our community, we are only going to come back even stronger,” she said.
Pride members said they already have plans to replace the plaques and add new protective covers. They will also install security cameras to protect the monument from future vandalism.