In E. Mount Airy, vandals offend almost everyone

Posted: January 31, 2014

IN DIVERSE East Mount Airy, one or more vandals with a can of purple spray paint offended just about every race and religion recently, stretching the limits of lewdness with a dozen or so curses and crude but unmistakable shapes.

"There are great big penises all over the place," said Kathy Lopez, a longtime resident of East Durham Street. "It's really disturbing."

Lopez and two other residents of the street had spray paint all over their garage doors in a rear alley. The vandalism included swastikas and derogatory terms toward blacks, referenced gangs such as the Bloods and MS-13, and featured at least one sentence that would offend members of the military and English teachers.

"You can die for your country but imma live for mine," read the message painted on Anita Sharpe's garage door.

Sharpe, who is black, said that vandalism in the area in the past was similarly vulgar and confusing.

"One of the neighbors had a swastika and he's not even Jewish," she said. "It's ignorant behavior by ignorant people."

Philadelphia police were notified yesterday afternoon and made no arrests, but a cruiser was parked in the alley last night as detectives looked at a fourth garage that was hit and could warrant heftier charges because it belonged to the Germantown Christian Assembly.

Albert Nelson, 67, who has lived on East Durham Street for 34 years, said he never encountered a problem. He and other neighbors said they'd wait until the weather warms up before heading out back with a can of paint.

"We have everyone here - white, black, Spanish - and we all get along," said Nelson, who is black. "Whoever did that - and there's so much stuff back there - is a real sick person."

On Twitter: @JasonNark

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