Advertisement
  1. News

Clearwater church vandalized with swastikas, Trump campaign slogan

This hate speech written in sidewalk chalk appeared sometime between 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Iglesia El Sembrador Wesleyano Church at 300 S Hillcrest Ave., according to Clearwater police. [KATHRYN VARN | Times staff]
This hate speech written in sidewalk chalk appeared sometime between 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Iglesia El Sembrador Wesleyano Church at 300 S Hillcrest Ave., according to Clearwater police. [KATHRYN VARN | Times staff]
Published Dec. 6, 2016

CLEARWATER — A church was vandalized with swastikas and hate speech alluding to President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, according to police.

The graffiti written in sidewalk chalk appeared between 11:30 a.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday on the driveway of Iglesia El Sembrador Wesleyano at 300 S Hillcrest Ave. Police said someone scrawled on the concrete two swastikas and "Build A Wall," a platform point voiced by Trump as a way to keep Mexican immigrants out of the U.S. The person also wrote "MAGA," an acronym widely used for "Make America Great Again," Trump's campaign slogan.

This is the second incident of its kind in Pinellas County since the election. In mid-November, St. Petersburg police were called to the King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church, where someone had drawn "MAGA" along with swastikas and other white supremacist symbols. The church serves a congregation that's mainly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw said he didn't know if the two incidents were related.

At the Clearwater church Tuesday, the graffiti could still be seen, shielded from the rain by a roof over the driveway. The pastors could not be reached for comment. According to the church's website, Pastor Luis Villavicencio was born in Venezuela. His wife, Pastor Angela Villavicencio, is a native of Colombia.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge