West Seattle Crime Watch: Vandals hit Schmitz Park Elementary, Madison MS; volunteer cleanup in the works

At least two West Seattle schools were heavily vandalized overnight, according to multiple reader reports we’ve received. First we heard about graffiti vandals painting a serious amount of damage at Schmitz Park Elementary, the most populous elementary on the peninsula (600+ students), and then a mention that Madison Middle School, a few blocks east of SPES, was hit too. One parent sent photos, with tagged walls plus large tags/drawings over two sets of double doors including the one partly shown above (we follow media-coverage best practices and don’t show tags in their entirety); the photos we saw included at least two taggers’ “signatures” as well as the crude depiction of male genitalia that’s been seen at vandalized sites around WS recently, as well as paint dumped on play equipment in the same courtyard where a playset was damaged by fire last year:

A concerned community member is organizing a work party for 9:30 am Monday – contact him at nmarroquin@comcast.net if you can help.

ADDED: We’ve also received photos showing taunts painted on walls at Madison – with at least one of the same “signatures” – as well as more flat-out paint-splash damage:

HOW TO REPORT GRAFFITI VANDALISM: Call police if you’re the victim; if you see vandalism in progress, call 911. If you see graffiti on public property, call 206-684-7587. Wherever you see it, police advise taking a photo before cleaning it up, as it could be helpful as evidence to trace a pattern; then get it painted over as soon as possible, as that’s considered the most effective form of deterrence, not to have the vandals’ “work” visible for long.

27 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Vandals hit Schmitz Park Elementary, Madison MS; volunteer cleanup in the works"

  • Mike September 5, 2015 (3:00 pm)

    This is pretty extensive, but taggers have been hitting the portables and walls all summer there. We call it in to SPS security, they just say they’ll send somebody to look into it.
    Is it legal for SPS to have cameras facing outside the buildings and let them run over night? This seems to be a constant issue around here.

  • gina September 5, 2015 (3:52 pm)

    Looks like the same taggers that hit Lafayette last week.

  • pauline aldrich September 5, 2015 (4:32 pm)

    they can put up cameras all over seattle school zones why not put up a few cameras in these trouble places, oh yea not a money maker

  • WillBeHOnest September 5, 2015 (5:18 pm)

    What was the nature of the taunts? Threatening violence at the school?!

    • WSB September 5, 2015 (5:37 pm)

      No, that would have been a threat. Just idiocy of the nyah-nyah variety.

  • JayDee September 5, 2015 (6:26 pm)

    Do you have an email for Graffiti? I have a bunch of photos for graffiti that I’ve cleaned up but but no one to email them to.

  • jason bourne September 5, 2015 (6:27 pm)

    Our garage was also hit, extensively, how do we coordinate with law enforcement? Any advice, we already reported and have a case number.

  • Nathan September 5, 2015 (7:18 pm)

    I’m leading efforts to clean up at Schmitz and I’ve heard from a number of folks who want to help. Thanks so much!

    I didn’t even know about Madison until I saw it in the blog. If another parent or community member could help coordinate clean up at Madison that would be great. We can probably divide and conquer Monday.

  • JKB September 5, 2015 (8:07 pm)

    There’s some new stuff at Hiawatha too. What’s the legal situation if a third party just shows up and paints over the tagging?

  • Nate September 5, 2015 (9:04 pm)

    Way to go guys. You must be real proud of yourselves. I hope you feel so cool, destroying play equipment for little kids three days before school starts. I’m sure your mother would be so proud too. We took our 22 month son there this morning around 9 am, it’s one of his favorite playgrounds. The paint was still dripping off the slides. But don’t feel too bad, he only cried for a few blocks when we wouldn’t let him get out and play, and had to walk back home. Bonus is, what a great opportunity to explain how people like you trod through life making such positive impacts on your community. Way to ruin a kids perception of the world. You’re lucky that you weren’t still playing artist with your other loser friends when I got there.

  • toni September 6, 2015 (8:12 am)

    Pathfinder K8 is having trouble too. We’re installing a new playground, and people got inside the fence while the surface was still setting. It caused some damage. Someone also stole some parts of the tables that were drying. We’ve got neighbors and parents keeping an eye out, ready to call the police and take down info. What kind of loser damages SCHOOLS?

  • clinker September 6, 2015 (9:41 am)

    Speaking as one of those evil tech workers taking over Seattle, I wonder if we could get together as concerned parents and donate/install a camera system. This same thing seems to happen several times per year at Schmitz. And it would be an interesting technology thing to do.

  • Ttt September 6, 2015 (10:39 am)

    Clinker, kind of a weird way to start your idea, but I think your idea is a good one. I am a concerned parent/community member and I would love to catch the vandals! I suspect that they are under 18 and someone’s kids may hear them talking about it… but the police may have an idea since tags were involved. My kids go to schmitz so bringing this idea up to the pta would be a great idea.

  • grace September 6, 2015 (12:55 pm)

    I hope that the vandals are reading all of these comments, and realize all the wrong that they are doing. What an amazing way to start a school year. Even I know that that was incredibly wrong and I am eleven years old. l hope that we can find the vandals, and I hope that they realize what incredible losers that they are.

  • Concered September 6, 2015 (2:00 pm)

    If anyone has any picture evidence or ways to help out please contact westseattlecrimewatch@gmail.com. My husband and I live near the area and have been collecting and photographing any evidence we can find to help out.

  • Nathan September 6, 2015 (4:58 pm)

    We’ve got quite a few volunteers meeting up at Schmitz tomorrow morning. It’s awesome to see the response!

    I’m hoping we can split and some folks can help over at Madison. I haven’t seen the damage there so I’m not really sure what needs to happen, but with the size crew we have we’ll make short work of it I’m sure.

    Finally, I got email from someone that indicated there were two kids running away from Madison as he was exiting the building. This was around 8 pm Friday night. I’m not sure if they were the same kids who did this, but if you saw something I recommend contacting the police.

  • sun*e September 6, 2015 (4:58 pm)

    What the “F!” is wrong with people?! Hopefully Karma paints an ugly and awful future for them!

  • fin September 6, 2015 (5:39 pm)

    oh gawd i went to this school (now being home schooled) and this is the worst vandalism ive seen here since kinder garden

  • BD September 6, 2015 (5:40 pm)

    Just saw 6 kids at Bartells difinitley up to no good. They hid the eggs they were carrying behind a wall before walking in.
    Saw the the same group while exiting Safeway the other night. Figured they were up to no good then too. Is this a kids being kids? Or are these kids going to be the next generation of hoods to live under the bridge?
    I personally cleaned up an egging on the Hiawatha swings a month ago and other than cleaning and taking pictures what is the expectation? Call the police? If the under the bridge adult hoods can get away with their crimes and continue to live amongst us, what is expected that anyone will do anything to these 12-14 year old kids?

  • New In Town September 6, 2015 (9:09 pm)

    Nathan, what time Monday morning? Thanks.

  • WSB September 6, 2015 (9:18 pm)

    Per what we reported in the story above, 9:30 am.

  • New In Town September 6, 2015 (11:23 pm)

    Ah, that’s why 9:30 was stuck in my head, but I didn’t see it in his posts. Thanks, WSB!

  • Nathan September 7, 2015 (9:19 am)

    Hi all, the district came through and are cleaning up the mess as of 7 this morning. They’ve made quick work of the big stuff already! I’ve called off the volunteer cleaning crew.

    • WSB September 7, 2015 (9:38 am)

      Thanks for mentioning that … our photographer was on the way over; another neighbor mentioned the district person but we didn’t know if that would be enough to cancel the volunteer work. Maybe our photo will just be “look, it’s gone,” which is good too – TR
      (added 10 minutes later) Seems he found some volunteers there anyway, cleaning up the spots where paint was just dumped, etc.

  • Nathan September 7, 2015 (11:19 am)

    Turns out we still needed volunteers and they show up en force! The districts got the really big stuff cleared but we have a crew of kids and adults really making the place shine!

    Madison still needs some attention. We will probably head up there later, but if anyone is free please check it out.

    Thanks to everyone who offered to help!

  • Restita September 7, 2015 (12:39 pm)

    I hope the vandals are reading this with a smirk on their faces, because there will come a day when they’ll see just how cool their smirk are in a jail cell. Days before school, and the school gets ruined….way to mess up hundreds of kids looking for ward to school…something the punk vandals might not know much about.

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