BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – A viewer contacted Eyewitness News upset about graffiti in a southwest Bakersfield neighborhood.
Les Popplewell lives in the area by Ridgeview High School. He’s seen graffiti there before.
“There’s always graffiti on these walls,” said Popplewell, “It’s unfortunate.”
But, the latest tag could have terrorist ties. It reads “ISIS” in bold letters.
“Someone sees the news and wants to make some kind of statement,” said Popplewell. “This is downright awful to see something like this.”
Police Sgt. Joe Grubbs said he’s undecided on the vandal’s intentions.
“I don’t know if there is anything to do with the conflict in the Middle East,” said Grubbs, “or just a tagger that’s seen this on the news and thought that’d be a cool moniker.”
Grubbs said the graffiti is not a hate crime, because it’s not addressed to a certain class or individual.
While it might not be a hate crime, Popplewell sees how it can be hurtful.
He cited the neighborhood’s demographics: Many Arabic and Muslim people live in the area.
“For them, it’s probably worse that this is on the news and now they have this image to remind them there’s people that are trying to make them look bad,” said Popplewell.
Popplewell said the tag has been there three weeks.
Grubbs said anybody that sees graffiti should call 661-32-ERASE to get it removed.