Holland Park ‘takes it to the streets’ to get city action on paint vandalism at church

       Satanic grafitti that was spray-painted on the outside of Springs City Church in the Holland Park area is under investigation by the Colorado Springs Police.
       The vandalism occurred the night of Oct. 30.
       Police initially had not taken a case report on the incident, but this changed after Mark T. Smith of the Holland Park Community Association complained about it at a City Council/city staff “Takin' It to the Streets” event Nov. 1 at the Gold Hill Substation.
       He said that afterward City Manager Lorne Kramer told him to personally contact him if he had any further problems regarding police response on the matter.
       And, at a Holland Park Community Association meeting Nov. 7, police officer Brent Ambuehl provided an update on the investigation and apologized on behalf of his department. “I'll eat crow for the department,” he said. “We failed you.”
       He didn't know why a case report was not taken at first, but described steps that are now being taken, including interviews with people that live nearby.
       Apparently, police call-takers had initially interpreted the church incident as typical grafitti, which is sprayed on walls around town by tagging “artists” or by gangs to identify their “turf.” However, the church spray-painting - including vulgarities, anti-Christian messages and demonic code - “was a hate thing,” Ambuehl said.
       Church volunteers have since painted over the vandalism. The church is at Holland Park Boulevard and Vondelpark Drive.
       In other comments during the meeting, Ambuehl said that the Holland Park area has lately become a target for burglars. He recommended that a Neighborhood Watch be established to help keep track of unknown people who might be acting suspiciously.
       Ambuehl also revealed that transients are active in the drainageway along the city-owned Douglas Creek Open Space (north of Vondelpark Drive between Chestnut Street and Holland Park Boulevard) and advised residents, "Don't walk it at night." Such transients in other parts of town have even been known to be registered sex offenders, he said, but added that transients as a rule are not hardened criminals. "These are not the people who are breaking into your houses and your cars," Ambuehl said. "It's the gangsters, or gangstas, as they like to call themselves."
       In other business at the meeting, new board members/officers were announced for the coming year. Officers are President Philip McGrath, Treasurer Marcia Boutz and Secretary Roberta Hankins, and board members are Smith (past president) and Cynthia McGrath.

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