Vandals strike Buddhist temple

By Pierrette J. Shields, Longmont Times-Call, Nov 26, 2008

LONGMONT, CO (USA) -- Members of the Longmont Buddhist Temple will repaint the building’s exterior in the spring to undo the damage caused by vandals over the weekend.

Jackie Tono, president of the Longmont Buddhist Temple, said she is also saddened that the temple will likely have to spend money to add security lights to the building at 606 Pike Road. She noted that vandals did not hit the wall facing U.S. Highway 287 because motorists can see the wall.

“I guess it shocked me that people are so disrespectful for a religious building,” she said.

Three of the building’s exterior walls were covered with the multicolored, spray-painted graffiti. It was discovered Saturday, and temple members mobilized Sunday to paint it over.

“We just did a quick touch-up job and hopefully it won’t come back,” Tono said. “We can at least continue our seminars and services without having to repulse the older members of the temple.”

Police logged photos of the graffiti, which included curse words, a tagger’s moniker and lewd drawings.
“There were a few different colors of paint and the graffiti appeared to be in different styles, suggesting more than one suspect,” according to a police report on the incident.

According to the report, damage was estimated at $500 and, aside from the crude drawings and expletives, the vandalism did not appear to be aimed at the temple. It was “just rambling about loving God and putting down other people known only to the suspect,” the report noted.

Police believe the vandals scaled a chain-link fence to get to the building, but did not break in. An officer also found shoe prints at the scene.

There are no suspects in the crime.