Racist epithets and symbols engraved on a Florida golf course may constitute a hate crime.
FLORIDA'S MARTIN COUNTY — According to police reports, one or more vandals spray-painted an anti-Black racist epithet
a swastika, and a star of David with a line through it in a Palm City golf course tunnel.
There were also some sexually graphic carvings there, according to Lt. Yesenia Carde of the Martin County sheriff's office.
Along the Atlantic coast, Palm City is located less than an hour north of West Palm Beach.
A sheriff's incident report states that on Monday, after hearing accusations of damage at the golf course, investigators went to Martin Downs Golf Club.
Around seven in the morning of that day, a worker came across the spray-painted images and words, according to the report.
Investigators claimed that they had been painted with a vivid orange spray paint and that the suspects had stepped on the wet paint to leave shoe prints.
Detectives are looking into the incident as a possible case of criminal mischief with the potential to upgrade charges to a hate crime.
According to the lieutenant, those detained may be charged with hate crimes if investigators discover that the suspects had a reason to target a group based on their race.
Based on the images, investigators speculated that minors may have spray-painted the golf course tunnel, however they haven't ruled out the potential of adult suspects