Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
Orlando police still don't know who painted over a beloved mural at an Orlando
Little League ballpark, but residents are behind a new push to get it restored.
Channel 9 reported Wednesday about a mural depicting famed Pittsburgh Pirate and humanitarian Roberto Clemente. The mural, painted by a well-known New York graffiti artist, was painted over by vandals.
Area leaders said the black wall the mural once adorned is bringing their community together.
"It was an insult to us. It was an insult to the community. It just hurt," said Earl Lugo, former president of Azalea Park's
Little League park.
Black paint that covers the mural is what coaches, players and parents were met with as they arrived at the park Wednesday.
"I got a text picture of the mural just straight-up blacked out. I just started crying," said Lugo.
Orlando police said they are still looking for whoever painted over the baseball great's portrait.
Lugo said as word of the defaced mural spread, local leaders offered their support.
"Local business owners, city officials, people from the Latin activist groups -- it's been incredible," said Lugo.
Carlos Guzman, president of the Puerto Rican Leadership Council, used the incident as an opportunity to better the park that he said keeps children off the streets and out of trouble.
"What we want is to take the opportunity to call in elected officials to see how they can work together to bring that park up to standards," said Guzman.
Lugo said that while he doesn't know why the vandals would paint over an image that inspired his kids, he is glad his players saw how the community responded.
"We plan to do it bigger and better, more color. It's just going to be incredible," said Lugo.
Lugo said that artist who painted the original mural has committed to doing a new mural.