EL PASO, Texas - In Dick Shinaut Park, off Saul Klienfield Drive, residents can enjoy a stroll around the park, eat a nice meal at one of the park's picnic areas, let the kids play on the playground or skate in the parks skate park.
The nice, family-friendly atmosphere, however, was tainted by graffiti, upsetting many neighborhood residents.
"We fought for this park, you know, all the neighbors," said Juan Moreno, a resident who has lived in the area for more than 20 years. "We don't like to have any gang marks."
Moreno said the graffiti used to be contained to the skate park area, but now it's all over the park. The largest and most visible on a wall in sight of the playground.
Residents said the graffiti is also spreading to the surrounding neighborhoods.
"I've seen some of the mailboxes being hit in some of the Paseos [neighborhood] area," said Ralph Reyna, who has lived in the area for about 15 years.
Reyna also said the graffiti was bad when he first moved into the neighborhood, but police worked hard to get rid of it. He thinks neighbors and residents who use the park need to tackle the problem before it gets bad again.
"The problem is if it stays on there, other people will come and graffiti over it and mark out the gang markings and so forth," he said. "So the best thing to do is to take it off immediately or report it."
Police told ABC-7 they have been told about the vandalism and ae investigating. Officials with the department also said residents should not worry about gang activity, because there is not spike in gang activity at this time.
The City said residents can report graffiti around town by calling 311.