UPDATED: Men who sledgehammered Philadelphia’s Rainbow Walk worked for the water department

Philadelphia's Rainbow Walk Derek de Koff

UPDATE: NBC Philadelphia reports that the two men initially believed to be vandals are employed by the Philadelphia Water Department and were investigating a nearby leak at Broad and Locust streets.


On Monday evening, a man wielding a sledgehammer drew attention to himself when he began pounding away at a crosswalk in Center City.

Confused onlookers watched as the man hammered away at the rainbow-colored crosswalk shortly before 10:30 p.m.

The city installed the rainbow-colored crosswalk last summer as part of an effort to show people that Philadelphia really is a LGBTQ-friendly place despite the Kathryn Knott antigay bashing incident that left a stain on its reputation.

Related: Philly hate crime update: Kathryn Knott convicted of simple assault and reckless endangerment

“There was a man in the middle of the road with a sledgehammer beating the rainbow sidewalks with it,” Michael Depiano, who witnessed the vandalism taking place, told NBC10-TV. “Another man came up behind and began chiseling with him.”

While pedestrians hurried past the two vandals, Depiano had the good sense to whip out his cellphone and call 911.

By the time a police officer arrived at the scene, however, the vandals had already fled, leaving minor damage to the brightly colored crosswalk in their wake.

Police say they don’t have any suspects or motives in the case.


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