GENEVA, Ill. (WLS) -- For the ninth time in less than a year, a fire hydrant painted in support of the LGBTQ+ community was vandalized in west suburban Geneva.
Chrissy Swanson, the artist behind the creation, was out painting over the damage Thursday as the community stands up against hate, one brush stroke at a time.
"I didn't realize this was an issue until it started being vandalized, and I don't understand how it's not considered a hate crime," Swanson said.
Authorities say sometime on Tuesday, the hydrant located near the northwest corner of Kirk Road and East State Street was defaced. That night, after filing a police report, Swanson and her supporters, including the mayor of Geneva, started repainting it.
The hydrant was adorned with the colors of the rainbow, transgender and inclusion flags, all paying tribute to LGBTQ+ pride.
Kylie Peters, co-founder of Belong Fox Valley, said someone is obviously trying to make a statement.
"If you are going to say that, then we're going to come back and fix it and gather people and spread the message that if you are here in the Fox Valley and you are queer, we want you here. We love you. You belong," Peters said.
The hydrant was first decorated last year as a part of the city of Geneva's Art on Fire program.
Since July 2022, the hydrant has been vandalized several times, most recently this past September.
Geneva police did arrest a man for an earlier vandalism of the hydrant, but so far, no one is in custody for this latest incident.