On Halloween night, West Hartford Police received a call about a swastika and other symbols that had been spray-painted with some type of foam substance in the middle of Farmstead Lane at the intersection with Overhill Road.
A van parked in a driveway on Farmstead Lane was also found with the same foam substance on the rear and near the opening to the gas tank.
On Thursday morning, further investigation of the Bishops Corner neighborhood revealed several more disturbing incidents of graffiti.
On Friday, West Hartford Police Lt. Frank Fallon confirmed that a swastika had been drawn on the track at Hall High School. According to Hall High School Interim Principal Tom Einhorn, the symbol was discovered early Thursday morning by a member of the school's custodial staff and was removed before any of the students used the track.
In addition, police said the words "weed" and "blunt," and several messages using profanity, had been written on the press box and bathrooms at the Hall High School stadium.
"We were extremely disheartened to discover graffiti – including a swastika – on our athletic facilities and track," Einhorn said. "Anyone with any information about this reprehensible act is encouraged to contact the West Hartford Police Department," he said.
Vandalism was also discovered at several other nearby sites on Thursday morning, and police believe the incidents are related.
Graffiti on a building at Westmoor Park included a Pentagram and the word "Satan." The letters "LOL" were spray-painted on a car on White Hill Dr.
Police also found graffiti on Woodbury Lane, where the number "420" was written on a garage. The number 420 is commonly associated with "National Pot Smoking Day" according to street legend (and urbandictionary.com). Lt. Fallon said the number is not only associated with marijuana use, but is also known to be an anti-Semitic reference because it was Adolf Hitler's birthday.
On Thursday evening, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement condemning the vandalism.
Police are actively continuing their investigation of the vandalism, which appears to be related because of the similar content and proximity. All of the incidents occurred on Halloween night or early in the morning of Nov. 1.
Vandalism of this nature on Halloween in West Hartford is uncommon. "In my recollection, this is the first time in a long time we've had anything like this happen," Fallon said.
Anyone with information should contact West Hartford Police at 860-523-5203.