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Graffiti found, removed at Mystic Oral School property

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Groton — Racist graffiti found at the vacant Mystic Oral School property was removed earlier this week.

“We were horrified when we learned of the racist graffiti this past Monday morning and removed it that day, followed by an additional fresh coat of paint the following morning,” said Chuck Coursey, spokesperson for Respler Homes, the developer proposing a mixed-use village for the site.

“Despite the installation of motion detectors, recording cameras and alarms throughout the property and the diligent follow-up and apprehensions by local police, vandals continue to target the property,” he said. “We will continue to fortify the property and work with local police to deter and help apprehend any individuals who vandalize the Oral School and threaten the safety and security of the property.”

Groton Town Manager John Burt said a resident alerted him and the mayor of graffiti that included hate speech at the Mystic Education Center. The graffiti on the abandoned building said "BLM (N-words) Suck (expletive)."

The state owns the Mystic Education Center, which is being leased by the developer Jeff Respler, Burt said. The town does not have an ownership stake in the property.

Burt said he alerted Respler, who had the graffiti removed. Burt said Groton Town police Chief Louis J. Fusaro Jr. reached out to Respler to see whether there is any camera footage or any other information to help determine the source of the graffiti.

“There is no place in this Town for hate speech, and I strongly condemn whoever wrote the message,” Burt said.

Fusaro said he told Respler Homes that the police department would be interested in reviewing any footage or information related to the incident.

Overnight Wednesday into Thursday there was more graffiti, which said "Eat my (expletive)," which the developer also removed, Burt said.

Fusaro said town officers have responded to the property in the past, for patrol checks and to reports of vandalism or trespassing. He said generally speaking the sooner people report incidents to the police, the easier it becomes to investigate and solve the matter.

k.drelich@theday.com

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