Halloween vandalism often occurs in communities across Queens, but what Howard Beach residents discovered on a neighborhood school Sunday morning left them particularly disgusted.
Profane tags and “pornographic drawings” were scrawled in red and silver paint, covering the doors, walls, playground equipment, ground and garbage containers at P.S. 207, located at 159-15 88th St., according to Joann Ariola, president of the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association.
Many of the writings made derogatory references to the school’s principal, Eileen Davies, and another administrator. Other markings included multiple mentions of the F-word and “gay slurs,” Ariola noted, and depicted lewd sexual acts.
Police said they believe the vandalism took place on Halloween Saturday between 3 and 6 p.m. and involved several individuals wearing masks. Some of the culprits’ images may have been captured on security cameras on the school grounds.
The vandals are believed to be youths associated in some manner with P.S. 207, a source familiar with the investigation told The Courier.
After discovering the vandalism, Ariola said, neighbors notified police, and the cleanup was underway in earnest on Sunday.
Members of the 106th Precinct and its auxiliary unit — under the direction of Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, commanding officer — painted over and power-washed the vandalism off school property. The most vile images and writings were removed long before students returned to class on Monday morning.
“Everybody had one common goal: the children shouldn’t see that profanity when it reopens,” Ariola said.
Parks Department personnel cleaned the last of the vandalism from the playground during the day Monday.
On its Facebook page, the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association received numerous messages from other residents wishing to participate in the cleanup.
“It was wonderful to see the residents rally behind the school and the administration,” Ariola said, thanking the 106th Precinct in particular for its assistance. “The desire [of residents] to volunteer says a lot about Howard Beach and about its resiliency and the ability to work together.”
The case has been referred to the 106th Precinct Detective Squad for further investigation, police said.