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White nationalist graffiti in Harford County

Spray painted signs along Ma & Pa Trail
Posted at 4:03 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 17:12:13-04

BEL AIR, Md. — Whether it’s the message ‘PF Zone’ in blue paint under a bridge or ‘Patriot Front’ hastily spelled out in this corrugated tunnel under Route 24, someone targeted the Ma & Pa Trail with what many are now learning is the name of a white nationalist group.

“It’s definitely disturbing,” said Gabrielle Baikauskas of Bel Air as she finished her trip along the trail, “I personally haven’t heard of that organization, but anything that happens like that in this county in particular, it disturbs me quite a lot.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Harford County Executive Barry Glassman who quickly lined up a crew to clean up the mess.

“Not only the vandalism of county and state property with spray painting and graffiti, but The Patriot Front, what they stand for,” said Glassman, “once I had to Google it and find out, but neo-Nazis, racists and just filled with hate, so it’s everything that we don’t want in Harford County.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated The Patriot Front as a hate group and its members are said to push intolerance as a means of preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of their European ancestors.

Signs of the group have only recently popped up in Harford County.

“This is the first that I’m aware of for graffiti that’s been put up and we’re currently investigating that so whether it was connected to the actual group or not, we’re not aware of since it’s so new,” said Capt. Eric Gonzalez of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, “We have seen a few stickers up at some of the events at the protests or gatherings, but that’s all we have with them right now.”

Whether the group is behind the graffiti may remain a mystery for now, but the fact it is being promoted at all is enough for those who call the county ‘home’.

“The only part that makes me nervous is if this is how it starts, if it escalates at any point,” said Juliette Gray of Bel Air who also uses the trail, “but other than that, I think it could just be people that are bored and they find this way to act out.”