Largo Park Vandalized with Swastikas

A wall with a swastika painted on it, although someone has tried to paint over it.  Largo Swastikas
Graffiti — including some what appear to be crude swastikas — at Northeast Park and Paw Place in Largo.
Photo by Mike Sunnucks

Someone vandalized a playground area at a park in Largo with graffiti — some of which resembled crudely drawn swastikas, as well as other hate symbols.

The graffiti at Northeast Park appeared over the weekend of Dec. 9 and 10 at Northeast Park and Paw Place near East Bay Drive and Belcher Road.

In addition to the spray-painted graffiti on park’s playground equipment, there was a more obvious swastika symbol on the exterior of a small restroom building at the park — which includes a dog park and roller hockey rink. That graffiti had been partially covered. Another piece of graffiti roughly resembles a Celtic Cross — a symbol sometimes used by neo-Nazis. Another includes the letters ‘EU’.

yellow piece of playground equipment vandalized with Nazi graffiti, including a swastika and an
Someone spray painted swastika graffiti on playground equipment and restroom building at a park in Largo. 
Photo by Mike Sunnucks

Megan Santo, a Largo Police Department spokesperson. said the agency had not received any calls about the swastika and other neo-Nazi symbols at the park other than from the inquiry and images sent by The Gabber Newspaper.  She said police have not received any other reports about vandalism or graffiti at other municipal parks.

Krista Pincince, director of Recreation, Parks and Arts for the City of Largo, said she forwarded pictures of the swastika and other graffiti provided by The Gabber Newspaper to city staff to have it removed.

yellow piece of playground equipment vandalized with Nazi graffiti
Along with the swastika, the Celtic cross — such as this one at a Largo playground — is often used as a Aryan hate symbol. 
Photo by Mike Sunnucks

Largo Swastikas and a Rise in Antisemitism Since Oct. 7

There have been upticks of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents across the country, including some involving vandalism and graffiti, since the Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks inside Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza.

The Anti-Defamation League reported Dec. 11 a 337% increase in antisemitic incidents nationwide since the start the Oct. 7 war in the Holy Land.

ADL said there were 2,031 antisemitic incidents in the U.S. between Oct. 7 and Dec. 7. — up from 465 reported incidents for the same timeframe in 2022.

The ADL’s tally includes 40 physical assaults, 337 vandalism incidents, 749 cases of written or verbal harassment, and 905 rallies and protests espousing antisemitic or anti-Zionist rhetoric or expressions of support for terrorism against Israel.

More than 1,200 Israelis died in the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas and more than 18,000 Gazans have died in the ensuing war, according to authorities on either side of the Middle East conflict.

A yellow piece of playground equipment with a swastika on it in a Largo park.
Police say they have not received calls about the swastikas in the Largo park.
Photo by Mike Sunnucks

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