Local News

Soldiers React to Arrest in Fort Bragg Swastika...

Posted September 18, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Two months ago, symbols of hate littered an army barracks at Fort Bragg, but now, it appears the message of the vandal may not have been what it appeared.

Red swastikas were painted on eight barracks rooms occupied by African-American Special Operations soldiers. That wasin July.

Now, an unidentified black suspect stands accused in connection with the paintings, but officials at Fort Bragg are not releasing much information about the case which they say is still under investigation.

In custody is a non-commissioned officer, a sergeant assigned to the Military Intelligence Company who lived in the barracks where the swastikas were found. Officials have said nothing about a possible motive.

Sergeant Robert Tanner (pictured at right), another Fort Bragg soldier, says he finds it very hard to understand why a black person would be involved in what appeared to be a racist act.

Public Affairs Officer Capt. Cabot Gatlin (pictured at left) says it appears racism may not have been the motivation after all.

When the swastikas were first discovered, Fort Bragg offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Even though they now have someone in custody, officials say the reward is still offered and the investigation is ongoing.