SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A family outraged after finding graffiti covering signs, monuments and a mural above Presidio Park, where they held their annual Easter egg hunt Sunday.
Grandfather Clemente Ochoa said their family has created memories at the Mormon Battalion Monument since 1986, when two members of the family stumbled upon the site while taking a lunch break at work. They've taken their annual photo in front of the mural for the past 30 years.
Saturday father Juan Espinoza drove to the site to survey where the Easter Bunny was going to hide the eggs, after hearing a few bushes were chopped down. When he saw the graffiti he was livid, "It's somewhere where our family takes a picture and so seeing all this graffiti on there just ruined the moment and ruined the day it really ticked me off to see that someone has nothing better else to do than ruin something."
Ochoa's eyes filled with tears, "I feel totally bad about this, this is totally different from the 1980's and 90s." He said in Spanish he took videos of his children, now grown, hunting for eggs. "When you see this," he paused, taking a breath, "my broken heart." He couldn't grapple with the disrespect against the people who made history and sacrificed so much to earn the memorial.
The family didn't let the graffiti ruin their traditional family photo, instead working to cover the black spray paint with their bodies. Espinoza said one of the relatives was going to Photoshop what was still visible out.
"It's a message no parent wants to have to explain to their child, 'Hey mom or dad, what is that?' You have to say you know there's just bad people that do bad things, that's pretty much what you can say and try to teach them not to go down that route," Espinoza said. He was thankful his two-year-old daughter was too young to notice the spray paint.
"It's one of those moments every dad appreciates and looks forward to, you know? It just melts my heart and I'm just so happy that my daughter was able to experience something like that," he said thinking about her enjoying the time spent with her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Espinoza downloaded the SD Get It Done app and filed a report, hopeful the city will clean it up.