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Neighbors Turn Hate Graffiti into Hearts and Peace Signs

Someone spray painted “heil Trump,” “KKK” and two poorly drawn swastikas on a dumpster in north Arlington over the weekend, but neighbors quickly painted over the graffiti and turned it into symbols of love and peace.

Neighbors first spotted the graffiti on a dumpster in front of a house under renovation on the 5300 block of Little Falls Road Sunday morning, a couple of blocks from Yorktown High School.

“It’s very shocking,” said Daphne Lathouras, who lives near where the vandals struck. “That’s the gut reaction that one has when this kind of thing happens.”

Lathouras said the owners of the property are currently not residing in the home but posted about the hateful graffiti on Facebook.

“There seems to be a boys-will-be-boys kind of consensus among people about this, which is very alarming,” Lathouras added. “But boys should behave better. ”

Neighbors used orange paint to paint over the messages Sunday afternoon, according to Lathouras. Late last night, someone once again tagged the dumpster with spray paint — this time, though, with hearts, a peace symbol and the word “love.”

On the Yorktown Civic Association Facebook page, neighbors debated whether the intent of the original graffiti was hate — or a youthful prank.

“Some kids from Yorktown HS or Williamsburg MS trying to get a rise out of you,” said one resident. “Chill! Don’t give the kids the satisfaction they are looking for.”

“I’m sorry, but hate speech is never ever ever something to ‘chill’ about,” responded another, “No matter the origin or presumed intent.”

Lathouras said on Facebook that she was told by police, “this is happening all over Arlington” and “it’s anti-Trump kids trying to get a rise out of people.” Arlington County Police, meanwhile, released the following crime report about the incident.

GRAFFITI, 2017-01080091, 5300 block of Little Falls Road. At approximately 11:43 a.m. on January 8, police were dispatched to the report of graffiti. Upon arrival, officers located a rented construction dumpster with ‘KKK,’ ‘Heil Trump’ and a swastika spray painted on it. There are no suspect(s) descriptions and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department at 703-558-2222. Tips can also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

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