Metro Weekly

Swastika and anti-gay messages found in University of Maryland dorms

University police urge anyone with information about the incidents to contact them via an anonymous tip website

McKeldin Library at University of Maryland College Park — Photo: Bgervais, via Wikimedia.

The University of Maryland Police Department is investigating several “hate-bias” incidents on campus after students reported finding a swastika and anti-LGBTQ messages scrawled on whiteboards in separate dorms.

Police responded to Queen Anne’s Hall at about 3:40 p.m. Monday after a student reported overhearing anti-LGBTQ comments and finding messages written on whiteboards in the dorm, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Later that day, at 8:07 p.m., police responded to La Plata Hall for a report of a swastika drawn on a whiteboard.

Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas, a spokesperson for the University of Maryland Police Department, confirmed via email to UMD’s student newspaper The Diamondback that in both incidents, “a detective was immediately assigned, witness canvasses were conducted and follow-up interviews were completed.”

University police say they are also reviewing security camera footage and the swipe card access system for both halls.

According to The Diamondback, the incidents follow a string of at least 15 confirmed “hate bias” incidents that occurred on campus last year.

In October, police charged a former university of employee with malicious destruction of property for allegedly spray-painting a swastika on a campus trash cart.

In January, another employee was charged for allegedly writing “racially charged” graffiti in an on-campus bathroom.

University police are urging anyone with information about the incidents to call police at 301-405-3555 or send an email using an anonymous tip website they’ve set up.

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