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"Reprehensible act:" DougCo sheriff seeks person of interest in graffiti incident before PrideFest

DougCo said the department is looking into the incident as a bias-motivated crime.
Posted: 5:27 PM, Aug 29, 2023
Updated: 2023-08-29 19:29:37-04
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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying a person allegedly involved in a vandalism incident before the beginning of PrideFest.

A deputy discovered graffiti, specifically the word “groomers” on the Douglas County Fairground property and on vehicles around 7 a.m. on August 25, just hours before the start of pride celebrations.

The sheriff’s office released two photos showing a person of interest who was wearing a blue sweatshirt, tan pants and a facemask, a release said.

DougCo said the department is looking into the incident as a bias-motivated crime. In Colorado, a bias-motivated crime is defined as a crime with an intent to “intimidate or harass another person, in whole or in part, because of that person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation,” according to SB21-280,which was signed into law during the 2021 Colorado legislative session.

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

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Local News

DougCo PrideFest interrupted by dozens of protesters

Micah Smith
6:02 PM, Aug 28, 2023

On Monday, Pasha Ripley, co-founder of Parasol Patrol, told Denver7 anchor Micah Smith DougCo PrideFest organizers discovered homophobic slurs spray-painted around the fairgrounds.

PrideFest events and celebrations in Castle Rock were also interrupted by over 60 protesters, including a drag show that was blocked by protesters with shirts that read: “STAND TO PROTECT CHILDREN.”

Ripley said there was a dedicated space set up for protestors but the rules were not followed.“There was a free speech area, a First Amendment rights area. And protesters were more than welcome to stay there in that area. They did not. They broke those rules. They should have been escorted out immediately,” Ripley told Denver7.

Douglas County Sheriff's investigators ask anyone with information about the incident or person in the photos or to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP.

Douglas County pridefest vandalism

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