Arson investigators review daycare surveillance footage
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WHDH) -- A South Florida daycare was hit by hate, but the vandals didn't stop at just leaving graffiti. They also torched the place.
Symbols of hate were spray-painted on the walls of a Fort Lauderdale daycare over the weekend. "We're not afraid," said Ivory Wilson. "We're not scared. We're gonna be here."
Three swastikas were incorrectly painted on the walls of the Little Leapers Childcare Performing Arts Academy, early Sunday.
This was not the first time the daycare has been threatened. "We had a few calls," said Sandra Wilson, "prior to this to, 'Pack your (expletive), you (expletive), and get out of our neighborhood.'"
Employees of the daycare are hurt by the reckless actions by the vandals. "To do this because you hate someone because of their race," said Anne, "it don't make no sense. You can't do that to kids. You don't."
Parents dropping their kids off were also upset by the news. "I have my son coming here," said April Martinez, "and it's very bad, you know? My son is mixed himself with Spanish, and I don't like that. That's just terrible. Now I'm scared. I'm scared to death for my son's life."
The news was also upsetting for her little boy. He said he likes his school.
Other parents had to turn around and take their kids back home.
The criminals broke in through a window, Sunday. Once inside, they stole thousands of dollars worth of electronics and later torched the kitchen.
Arson investigators were on the scene on Monday. "Some of the people coming by said they think it's some ignorant kids that are doing it," said Wilson.
The vandals are ignorant considering the swastikas painted on the side of the daycare were done backwards. If they felt so strongly, one would think they would get it right. "It's sad," said Wilson, "very sad."
The Anti-Defamation League released a statement stating, "It is imperative that the community sends a clear message that we will not tolerate such cowardly and un-American bigotry. This is a current reminder that hatred remains a current event here in our backyard."
Arson investigators have pulled surveillance video from the day care and are working on finding those responsible.
If you have any information on who started this fire and vandalized the daycare and church, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.