Vandalism before PrideFest in Castle Rock under investigation as bias-motivated crime

Douglas County Sheriff investigators are trying to track down a vandal who spray-painted the word “groomers” on county fairgrounds property and vehicles ahead of community PrideFest activities last week, authorities have announced.

They’re treating this graffiti vandalism – discovered by a deputy on Friday around 7 a.m. before PrideFest events – as a bias-motivated crime. Surveillance cameras at the fairgrounds captured images of a man wearing a blue sweatshirt, tan pants, and a face mask in the act of spray-painting.

“We stand united against all forms of hate speech and bias-motivated actions in Douglas County,” Sheriff Darren Weekly said in a news announcement.

“We want to reassure the public that we will not tolerate such behavior, and our detectives are working diligently to identify the person behind this reprehensible act.”

The annual Douglas County PrideFest on Aug. 26 was billed as a gathering “where inclusivity takes center stage” and sponsors invited residents “to come as they are, embrace their true selves, and feel the love and acceptance that they deserve.” Protestors attended the event. Organizers had set up a “free speech area” at the fairgrounds.

The authorities requested that anyone with information contact investigators via Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867, an anonymous tip line, where information leading to solving the crime can bring a cash reward.

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