One or more vandals struck parts of Clintonville early Feb. 19, leaving graffiti of swastikas and racially charged messages in their wake.

One or more vandals struck parts of Clintonville early Feb. 19, leaving graffiti of swastikas and racially charged messages in their wake.

"To know someone is vandalizing homes around us like this is unsettling," said Patrick Flynn, who awoke to find a swastika and the message 'Kill all n------' on his garage door on Morningside Drive. He, his wife and daughter - they are white - spent the afternoon removing the paint.

Others living near the Clintonville and University District line also found swastikas and racial slurs spray-painted on their homes and cars.

A Columbus police officer said he took three reports on Crestview and Kelso roads. He said he would forward the reports to the Police Division's strategic-response bureau for follow-up.

Nearly a dozen swastikas were painted on a bridge along Calumet Street, across from Calumet Christian School. Another was plastered on the side of the Clintonville Community Market.

"It was the first time I've ever seen anything like this," said Rob Jones, who managed the market yesterday. Although he has seen graffiti in the area before, none has been racially insensitive, he said, adding, "I was pretty surprised."

Other graffiti showed up on Como and Lakeview avenues.

Rob Wood, a member of the Clintonville Area Commission, walked through the neighborhood to see the extent of the vandalism. He found swastikas and messages in German on the Indianola Avenue overpass at Glen Echo Park, an area riddled with graffiti.

"The thing we've found is that it's very difficult to catch the people doing the graffiti," he said. Of yesterday's outbreak, he said: "I absolutely believe it's vandalism, and charges should be pressed if the people could be found."

Wood said he plans to get the swastikas removed from the bridge in the next day or so and is working to find ways to deter vandalism.

One proposal is to create a mural on the Indianola Avenue overpass to fill the space with art instead of giving vandals a canvas for graffiti, he said.

"We embrace diversity of all kinds," he said. But graffiti, especially anything that's insensitive, "is unacceptable and completely counter to the culture in the neighborhood."

Last month, the Columbus City Council included $500,000 in the annual budget for a test program in which the city would pay to remove graffiti from homes and businesses.

Rebecca Schuman, a visiting assistant professor teaching German at Ohio State University, saw the Nazi-inspired phrases as she walked through Glen Echo Park.

The words were in German, and "it's obvious they were trying to say, 'Only white people to victory,'__" she said.

But several words were misspelled, she said, and the translation of what was actually written is "only wise people" and a word that doesn't exist.

"I'm offended as a Jewish person and a human being and a German professor," she said.