Vandals cover Lawton park in graffiti

Vandals cover Lawton park in graffiti

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Vandals covered a local park in Lawton with graffiti. Now, police are searching for the people responsible for the art.

"I mean I know this kind of activity goes on in all parts of the nation, but when it comes down to respecting where the kids play and different things like that it's a little disheartening," said Onreka Johnson. "Because we want to make sure at least are parks are safe for our kids."

Ward 7 councilperson Onreka Johnson said she found out about the graffiti at Lemuel Harkey Park on Facebook. Her volunteer group, "Bag it Up" cleaned up the park just a couple of days ago.

"We come out in the community, in Ward 7, every Tuesday and pick up trash," said Johnson.

However, she said the graffiti could be part of a bigger issue here in Lawton.

Sergeant Timothy Jenkins with the Lawton Police Department said they are still investigating whether the vandalism is gang-related.

"The parks and the areas in our community are for everybody not just a certain group of people," said Jenkins. "So, when people have to come to the park or other areas and want to play, or have fun or just hang out. They have to see this. We don't want them seeing that we don't want them a part of that, we don't want to give this a following."

As for Johnson, she said she plans to do her part by continuing to beautify her neighborhood and Jenkins asks for the community's support in finding the vandals responsible.

"We plan to come out here and get some of that stuff, either paint over it or clean it off," said Johnson. "But we are definitely getting our gears working and getting a plan together."

"If we are able to stop this from occurring then we are able to stop a lot more vandalism in other areas as well," said Jenkins.

If you have any information about the vandalism you are encouraged to contact law enforcement. If you would like to help Johnson clean the park you can reach her at 580-917-0266.

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