Normal Heights Prince mural vandalized with swastika

Posted at 10:40 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 11:53:38-04

SAN DIEGO -- Employees of a Normal Heights business are hoping to find the person who vandalized their mural just days before the Adams Avenue Street Fair.

Gus Lange was shocked when he arrived to work Thursday morning at Dink's Barber Shop.  

"It was a swastika, you know what I'm saying, and this neighborhood is diverse, a lot of people get along real well. To see that on our wall especially. We're the neighborhood barbershop. All different people come here," said Lange.

The mural is a tribute to Prince. 

"We're known for the barber shop with the cool art," said Lange.

Someone spray painted the symbol in yellow right on Prince's face.

"It's a very bold, hurtful statement," said Lange.

The tagger drew the symbol backwards. In some religions, a backwards swastika is a symbol of peace. In this case, Lange doubts that was the tagger's intention.

"People have just been shaking their heads," said Lange.

Travis Crosby painted the mural on the side of Dink's building as a gift to the community. 

"I painted this the weekend Prince died, so there is definitely a lot of feelings behind that," said Crosby.

Crosby has been painting murals in San Diego for 20 years. This is the first time anyone has ever vandalized one of them.

"This is purely something I do out of the love. So to see someone deface it in the manner that it was, was very unsettling to me" said Crosby.

He spent Thursday evening restoring his work of art. This weekend is the Adams Avenue Street Fair. It's a chance for people to showcase their art work.

"The last thing I wanted to see is thousands of people coming by that I know have seen this mural, or people who haven't, and be greeted that way," said Crosby.

Lange said there was some yellow tagging on other buildings nearby. He's confident they'll find out who is responsible.

Either way, he says it won't hurt their business.

"People spread hate to divide and it's easy to control smaller groups," said Lange, who added it won't ruin the family atmosphere at Dink's.

"There's a lot of laughter and a lot of positivity."