It was a normal day for Carolina Moss. She parked her car at McDaniel Park and went for a run. Moss, an immigrant from Kenya, a registered nurse and member of the Army National Guard, was trying to get back to a habit of running.
What wasn’t normal was what she found when she came back to her vehicle: someone had taken feces and smeared it on the windshield and hood. If that wasn’t enough, the vandal flattened both of Moss’s vehicles right side tires.
The incident took place on the morning of the massive Black Lives Matter march in Springfield.
The Springfield Police Department told OI Sunday morning they are actively investigating the incident. The area has surveillance cameras that could have recorded the likely hate crime.
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board and Ozark Greenways quickly issued a joint statement condemning the act.
“There is absolutely no place for hate or derision in our public parks or on our trails,” Director of Parks Bob Belote wrote in a statement. “Our parks and trails bring people together. They offer hope. And they should be places where all of us feel safe. An important part of that safety is our own park patrons and neighbors keeping an eye out for each other, like another helpful trail user did at McDaniel Park today. If you see a crime in a park or feel unsafe, please call 911.”
While the vandal may have tried to drive Moss away from the park with their putrid action, it had the opposite effect: according to social media Moss was back at the trail to run Sunday morning and this time she had nine people show up to run with her.
“You ask me what good came out of all this?,” Moss wrote on Facebook. “LOVE!! It’s all Love thanks to everyone that came out to run with me this morning. I had an Army behind me and around me. Yes love conquers all.”
(Photos taken from Carolina Moss’s Facebook page)