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Restorative justice for teens who targeted North Van home with offensive graffiti

Police describe incident as ‘terrible prank,' not racially motivated
RCMP have recommended teens who spray-painted a family garage with offensive slurs be dealt with outside of the court system. | Contributed

Police in North Vancouver say three teens responsible for spray-painting racist and homophobic slurs on a family home in North Vancouver will have their actions addressed through restorative justice.

Last month, a family that lives on Griffin Place had their home targeted by overnight graffiti, which included offensive slurs splashed on their garage door.

Rola Bayloun told the North Shore News shortly after the incident that her family woke up to the shocking revelation Jan. 31 when a neighbour texted her husband and said, “Go see what happened to your garage.”

Security surveillance camera recorded video of three teens with covered faces, walking up to the garage door with spray paint canisters.

Bayloun said her husband quickly removed the graffiti, but her family was left unsettled by the incident.

“I feel we’re getting targeted,” said Bayloun at the time, adding her family has never experienced anything similar in the 20 years they’ve been in Canada since moving from Lebanon. “I don’t want to feel unsafe in my own home.”

Police said Tuesday, however, after talking to the youth involved, they feel the graffiti was more likely a “terrible prank” by the teens than a deliberately hateful act.

RCMP officers have identified the three teens in the video and spoken with them, said Const. Mansoor Sahak, spokesman for the North Vancouver RCMP.

“They all admitted to doing the graffiti,” he said.

Sahak said police are recommending that the teens be dealt with outside the courts, through restorative justice.

The North Shore News contacted Bayloun Tuesday, but she said she was unable to immediately provide comment.

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