Officials Respond To Racist Graffiti

Late last evening, Parks & Recreation Department employees discovered racist graffiti on the Compo Beach basketball courts.

They contacted their supervisor, and the Westport Police Department. Officers opened an investigation, which continues.

The graffiti was removed, nd the courts cleaned.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker says, “In my short term in office, I have repeatedly talked about ensuring that Westport is a community where everyone feels like they belong. This incident runs completely contrary to that goal and is inexcusable.

“I am grateful to the Parks & Recreation Department employees and the Police Department for the swift action they took to address the situation professionally and respectfully.”

Anyone with information about the incident should call t the Police Department: 203-341-6000.

The site of racist graffiti. (Photo/Fred Cantor)


40 responses to “Officials Respond To Racist Graffiti

  1. A.David Wunsch

    Good photo from Cantor
    adw Staples 1956

  2. For God s sake, Keep it Simple!
    1.Install good video recording camera.
    2. Catch these buggers in the act.
    3. Juvinilles, file charges for juvinille offenses, fine the parents with cleanup costs.
    4. Adults, charge with federal hate crime charges. On conviction,
    Require fines and restitution.
    5. Make sure acts are identified close enough in time to find video images for police to act on.
    Serious Accountability for these crimes and damages is the only real deterant!
    Do the crime, send the fine and time!!

  3. Tracy A Flood

    So GD sad….

  4. Ellen Dale Naftalin


  5. Years back there was a WPD patrol totally dedicated to Compo Beach, Longshore and Old Mill. The hours covered were 10am-2am 7 days a week. He handled parking violations, motor vehicle violations and any other problems/emergencies in that area. I use the beach frequently and have gone days at a time without seeing a patrol car drive thru. God knows the out of town daily fee generates a lot of money. What happened to that dedicated patrol car?

  6. That is despicable. Probably some high school kids who did it. Again I’m not surprised as a lot of my peers that were very racist, prejudice, and elitist while going through Staples. Wouldn’t be surprised if they still hold the same views today. Thank god the Marines and college straightened me out.

  7. Jo Ann Miller

    Dating back to the 60’s when the kids painted the Minuteman “red,white & blue,” and then pink along with hateful signs on Fort Apache medical center, this has been going on for a long time. This town is no different than the entire country, HATE prevails. And were we not talking about how “special” Westport was?

    • Dave Eason’s information about former Campo patrol car and officer sounds like a great use of town police resources. Why has it disappeared? This is most likely a quick easy solution.
      Sounds like some direct resident emails to Jan Tooker is in order to possibly get her to gently push our police to re-establish
      such a patrol.Campo Beach and Longshore are diamonds in the Town’s crown, to special and important to allow this type of hate and crime continue! I putting my email to our selectwomen this evening. How about you?

    • For someone who’s job is selling Westport, it’s surprising how anti ‘special’ you keep saying our town is. Your negative comments are kind of sad.

      • Spanky Giddings, FP, '82

        No, the sadness is nobody wants to admit this town is not perfect while they are too busy slapping their backs on how great it is here. Racism and anti-semitism have been underlying prejudices here for decades.

      • Deb, who are you referring to exactly?

  8. Jo Ann Miller

    Our finest, at night, hang out at the Exxon Station on the Post Road @ North Maple.. Four or five of them in there if it is late And Ray, it is COMPO. The same reason folks still speed on North Avenue, no police enforcement. Ms.Tooker bares little responsibility here. .

    • Jeff Arciola

      Your blaming Ms. Tooker. What an outrageous statement. Shame on you. Typical liberal response.

      • Spanky Giddings, FP, '82

        For one, Jeff, it is “You’re” nice “Your.” And if you read the comment, Ms. Miller does NOT blame Ms. Tooker for the First Selectman has no jurisdiction over the police department in Westport.

      • Jeff, you sound just like a seditionist-supporting Trumper.

  9. Excuse my error in spelling! It is COMPO. I stand properly corrected.
    Thank you.

  10. Jo Ann Miller

    On a side note, Ray, in past decades they never closed the beach. It was a big make out place (submarine races) with little issues. Of course, we had to get up the next morning to work our summer jobs back then.

  11. Have the Westport Police interviewed Max Bernegger? It seems like an obvious first stop, given his history.

  12. Reading the latest comments now I have a question. If our selectpersons have no standing with the police department, then who does the police chief answer to?
    I am pretty sure the Westport Police Department is under the authority of Westport’s first selectperson. Please correct my understanding if I am in error.

  13. Carl Addison Swanson, '66

    Good question, Ray. While a review of our town ordinances (Part 1, Chapter 2, Subsections C-4-3, C4-4, C4-7) authorize the First Selectperson to appoint a Chief of Police, be the Chief Traffic Cop of the town but is excluded from appointing a commission to do such duties, our Ms. Tooker’s predecessor refused to act or even respond when a traffic issue was raised to him i.e. they don’t like to track mud on each other’s turf?

  14. Richard Johnson

    While WPD does appear to do almost nothing except appear at photo ops and sit in parking lots, all the while earning overtime – a cushy gig that pays well over the town’s median household salary – I don’t think we can reflexively blame them for graffiti, which also happens in towns that have functional police departments. While troubling, this incident is almost certainly some kid looking for attention or mentally ill, and as soon as they’re identified, the comments will be flooded with people saying how nice their family is. Nothing to see here.

  15. I sent my email to Ms Tooker yesterday evening. How bout the rest of you who care? To much whining and not enough action.

  16. Lieutenant Dave Wolf refuses to reveal the language in the graffiti, provide photos, or even vaguely characterize what was written. So taxpayers are again in the dark about what’s going on. Was the language specifically threatening? Which groups were targeted? This is basic information that Westporters have a right to know while the investigation is going on. The secrecy serves no one and insults the intelligence of everyone who lives here.

  17. To Richard Johnson:
    Was it really necessary to take a cheap uninformed shot at our police department to make the point that this graffiti shouldn’t be reflexively blamed on them? Very disappointing.

  18. Carl Addison Swanson, '66

    Perhaps if we don’t know the words, the severity of the incident will be diminished? I love the police. They make great witnesses in a courtroom. But when I hear a neighbor gets a visit from a patrolman for an email she sent and then my son, unknowingly or stupidity, dumped a bag of lobster shells in a dumpster and you would have thought he robbed a bank . . . and I see the speedsters all over town, rolled stop signs, Staples ranked #1 in reported OD’s in the state . . . and I wonder where is that arsenal of of our finest?

  19. We don’t need the police deciding what we can and cannot know based on vague, unspecified criteria established by them and imposed by them—and opaque to those of us who live here and have to pay for this condescension.

  20. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    If these racists were serious they wouldn’t have used washable ink.

  21. Elaine Marino

    Don’t be so quick to judge before we (hopefully) have more facts. See the headline and link to a March 2022 incident in Rochester, NY, below:

    “Student of color reportedly behind racist graffiti at a Rochester girls’ school”

    • Sure, I guess anything’s possible, but don’t discount those krazy, kicky kids from the Staples Young Republicans club—they’re really good at defacing property in pursuit of MAGA’s lofty goals.

    • marlacowden

      Elaine, you don’t need to go as far as Rochester, NY do you? We had our own false flag operation here. While we had the opportunity to show to the world how we do not tolerate hate in our town, we failed. The perpetrator was let off lightly. Did I mention he was white?

      • T. Tesoriero

        Tom Prince-
        Shame on you Tom and shame on Dan Woog for allowing an adult to defame an entire group of young people in our community—KIDS-just because you don’t respect that other people may have views different than yours. I’m sure you understand that your comment identifies a limited and identifiable group of minors in our Staples Young Republicans Club and accuses them of criminal behavior. Not very smart, Tom (and Dan who is publishing this disgusting comment). You defamed these children who are interested enough to become involved in a group focused on government affairs. You do not have any basis for casting criminal aspersions upon this group of kids. It is disgraceful and beneath contempt. People like you are making Westport extremely divisive and an unwelcoming community for any diversity of thought. You should sincerely publicly apologize to the Staples Young Republicans Club for a serious lapse in judgment.

        • I am very clearly talking about the two who were charged for the Pink Sumo signs in 2020. How would I know anything beyond that?

          • T. Tesoriero

            Nice try Tom, but you know you were not clear because you referred to the Staples Young Republicans Club as opposed to specific individuals. A public and sincere apology is in order. Very bad judgment at the very least. Why don’t we let the facts catch up to your rampant speculation and in the meantime please stop defaming this high school club and the kids who are in it. You need to apologize.

            • One of those charged was a minor and his name was never made public. The two were referred to in news accounts as members of the club, since both names were not public. That’s why I used that designation. I certainly wouldn’t accuse innocent Republican kids of racism. I really hope none of them took it that way, and my sincerest apologies if I caused upset to those among them who read Dan Woog.

  22. This post and some of these comments are getting to inciteful and do not help solve the crime or problems.
    As I commented previously, a good recording video camera and some defined police patro at Compo will find the perpatraitors.
    Serious persecution of responsible persons and accountability willbe affective in stopping these acts.
    Throwing bricks of criticism back and forth over the snide comment wall wont! QYB!

  23. Far from it. When you are confronted with a problem,its far better to seek solutions rather than waste efforts with criticism.

  24. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Suggest you guys take this offline and mudwrestle each other on the RSC Memorial Bridge where all lost causes go to die. There are houses to tear down and McMansions to build.