Steamboat police believe they know who burned a large swastika into a picnic bench at Memorial Park late last month, and a rash of similar incidents have left local officials concerned about a wider trend involving a contingent of local high school students who subscribe to supremacist ideology.
According to Steamboat Springs Police Chief Mark Beckett, the department submitted a criminal mischief charge to the District Attorney earlier this week in relation to the Memorial Park incident, which he said happened in the after-school hours of Aug. 30 and involved a male Steamboat Springs High School student.
Beckett said detectives were able to identify the student “within a couple of days” before working through the process of collecting witness statements and contacting parents.
Routt County District Attorney Matt Karzen’s office confirmed it received the police report of the juvenile suspected of committing a “bias motivated crime and criminal mischief.” In a statement, however, Karzen said the DA’s office would “decline to file a juvenile petition or offer diversion based on the lack of admissible evidence that (the) suspect was the person who committed the crime in question.”
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