Swastikas spotted in downtown St. cloud

- Garret Harris said he originally found two swastikas along 12th Street in downtown St. Cloud Sunday morning.
 
"Who would do that?" He said. "Who would find that in there heart, that that’s what they identify with?”
 
He was walking with his two young children, an infant and a toddler.

He's thankful they're too young to understand.
 
“I tried cleaning it up, but I guess it’s written in crayon," He said. "So, it just kind of stayed there.”
 
He hoped it was just a horrible prank.
 
“A bunch of kids being punks," he said.
 
He said that's why he didn't call the cops. But, then Monday morning, things got worse. He found five more swastikas around downtown.
 
Several of them were along Massachusetts Avenue, including one outside the St. Cloud Heritage Museum and one outside the women's center.
 
“It makes me sad," Harris said. "The fact that somebody would have that much hate in their heart.”
 
He said one of the swastikas he found this morning came with a strange message saying “Slave leave me the (expletive) alone…”
 
He said he has no clue who the culprit is and his concern is growing.
 
"You wouldn't go through the effort of scrawling all this if you weren't trying to be resentful or hateful," He said.
 
People around downtown St. Cloud were shocked.
 
Cindy Elleson, of St. Cloud, said, “It’s terrible! I have people coming from Pennsylvania to visit me and they have to see this? It’s terrible.”
 
Becky Larson, who was visiting from out of town, said, “To have something like that on these streets… it doesn’t make you feel too safe.”
 
When Fox 35 asked St. Cloud Police about the swastikas Monday afternoon, that was the first they had heard about the swastikas.

But, SCPD immediately launched an investigation after our inquiry.

Less than an hour later, a City of St. Cloud crew was power washing the symbols away.
 
Harris said, “It’s not something to identify with and be proud of. It’s a symbol of ignorance and hate.”
 
Fox 35 asked if this is being investigated as a hate crime.

We were told it’s too early to tell.

As of right now, the case is being classified as criminal mischief.

SCPD said the case was being handed over to the Criminal Investigations division.

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