Racist message painted at school, building set on fire. Cops want help finding suspect

Pierce County detectives want help identifying a person suspected of spray painting a racist message and starting a fire at Purdy’s Peninsula High school on Wednesday morning.

The suspect, believed to be a young white male, reportedly spray painted a racist message in the school’s parking lot and then another message on a bench, according to information distributed by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. The suspect reportedly tried to break a library window with a baseball bat and poured gasoline on a portable building and lit a fire. The fire caused more than $60,000 in smoke damage.

Images of the suspect show he was wearing a dark hooded jack and covered his face with a mask or bandana.

The bench was previously set on a fire on Sept. 26, 2016, but there were no arrests.

Those with information are asked to call Crime Stoppers of Tacoma/Pierce County at 800-222-8477.