Racial slur painted on neighborhood park

A racial slur was painted on the sidewalk at a west side community park. (WTHR Staff)

AVON, Ind. (WTHR) - Humza and Eli enjoy regular play dates at the Bentwood Community Park. The two three-year-old boys paid no attention Monday afternoon to the racial slurs someone spray painted on the playground in their racially diverse Avon neighborhood. Bentwood features a large park in the middle with a walking trail, playground and wheel park (where young kids can ride bikes, tricycles and Big Wheels).

Someone painted the racist word at the bottom of the tube slide, right where kids of all races, who don't even know what that word means yet, play every day.

"It does kind of make me a remember a story when my sister and I were little,” said Bentwood resident Elaine Berger, who is biracial and dealt with racism growing up. Berger raised her own family in Bentwood, building a house in the neighborhood 14 years ago.

"It makes me angry. I think about if I bring my grandkids out here, I don't want them to see things like that."

The same racial slur was painted on the sidewalk at the entrance of the wheel park.

Racial slur painted on the slide at a west side community park. (WTHR Staff)

"I've been out here for 16 years and we have never had this kind of stuff around here,” said Bentwood resident Matthew Carlton.

Residents have already tried to remove the offensive graffiti, but it can still be read faintly on the slide and clearly on the sidewalk. Carlton planned to put his power washer to work Monday afternoon to remove the hateful words before any trouble escalates.

"The person might walk through here,” said Carlton. “They're going to fight. They're going to find out who wrote it pretty soon, because whoever wrote this has something going. So, we've got to get it out of the neighborhood as soon as possible."

Carlton said there used to be basketball courts at the park but they were taken out a few years ago to reduce violence in the neighborhood.

"I have a suspicion it might be just teenagers,” said Berger. “We've had problems with kids from a different addition coming in before and tearing stuff up here. I would like to think it's not somebody in our addition being malicious."

Humza and Eli rode their bikes with training wheels right over the racial slur, joyfully oblivious to the anger the graffiti stirred in their neighborhood.

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