Baltimore County police are investigating what they believe were two unrelated instances in which racial slurs were painted on schools on the county's east side during the weekend.
Police said they were called to the 400 block of 51st St. about 6:30 a.m. yesterday by a custodian who saw two men running away from Colgate Elementary School carrying spray cans. When officers arrived, they discovered freshly painted racial slurs and names on the school sidewalk and wall, said Cpl. Vickie Warehime, a county police spokeswoman.
Warehime said police recognized the names as those of juveniles living in the Colgate community.
The graffiti was painted using red and blue spray paint cans, which officers recovered near the school.
About two hours later, police discovered that racial slurs and names had been painted on windows and doors at the back of Chesapeake High School at the 1800 block of Turkey Point Road.
In that instance, the graffiti were painted in red, yellow and blue, but "the terminology was different [and] the handwriting was different," Warehime said.
Authorities believe the high school was vandalized between 5 p.m. Friday and when the graffiti was discovered at 9 a.m. yesterday.
County police said they usually send outreach officers to meet with community members when racially-motivated incidents occur.
School officials said they immediately removed the graffiti from the buildings yesterday, which cost approximately $600 at Colgate Elementary. Although school officials did not have an estimate of the damage to Chesapeake High, it was "considerably less" than at Colgate, said Charles A. Herndon, spokesman for Baltimore County school system.
"We want to get rid of it as quickly as possible to discourage it from happening again," said Herndon.