Atlanta’s rainbow crosswalk vandalized; neighbors say they won’t tolerate hate

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 11:07 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Atlanta’s iconic rainbow crosswalk was vandalized yet again and now police are on the lookout for the person responsible. They’ve released surveillance video and images from the two incidents early Friday morning and another incident earlier this week.

Atlanta Police say a male, shortly before 2 a.m. Friday, spray painted the crosswalk at 10th Street and Piedmont Ave, in the city’s Midtown section. The hateful images included Nazi swastika symbols as well as homophobic slurs. People who call midtown home say this type of hate won’t be tolerated.

“I think that at the end of the day, everybody should appreciate and value people no matter who they are and what they do and what they believe in. Everybody has the right to equality and respect for it,” said Delia Malloney.

Atlanta Police say their person of interest not only vandalized the LGBTQ crosswalk early Friday morning but also hit up the federal reserve building a block away. They say they believe the same male spray painted a swastika on a monument positioned on the front lawn.

“Our investigators are working, and I don’t want to get ahead of them with the identity of this individual. We believe he may be very close by currently so that’s what we’re looking at and focusing on,” said Chief Darin Schierbaum of the Atlanta Police Department.

During morning rush hour traffic, the Atlanta Department of Transportation used a pressure washer and even rags to scrub clean the pavement.

“The motivation is to intimidate in my opinion. The motivation is to spread hate. And the city doesn’t have any room for hate,” said Chief Schierbaum.

Police say investigators are looking into other, similar incidents in the area recently. They have yet to determine if they’re related to these two incidents.

Anyone with information on the identity of the person of interest is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta. Police say information can be submitted anonymously. The tip line number is 404-577-TIPS (8477). Police are offering a $2000 reward for the arrest and indictment of the suspect.