Seattle police are trying to pull fingerprints off alcohol bottles and spray-paint cans they say were left behind by dozens of teens who caused about $8,000 of damage in a graffiti spree at Gas Works Park.

Officers were called to the Lake Union park around 10:45 p.m. Monday for a report of a large group of youths partying. When police showed up the 40 to 50 youths scattered.

They left behind trash, including alcohol bottles, and graffiti, police said. Police graffiti Detective Chris Young estimated the damage to the 20-acre park at nearly $8,000.

Police spokesman Patrick Michaud said detectives are running fingerprints taken off evidence collected at the park.

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Joelle Hammerstad, spokeswoman for Seattle Parks and Recreation, said the bulk of the damage was done to the play barn. Damage also was done to old machinery on site and picnic benches, police said.

Gas Works Park is the former home to a plant that made gas from coal. The children’s play barn is located inside the building that used to house an exhauster-compressor, according to the Parks and Recreation website.

Hammerstad said all painting projects by parks staff were put on hold Tuesday to send crews to the park to paint over the graffiti. She said graffiti-removal experts with the parks department were also sent there.

“It’s the worst we’ve seen it in one place,” Hammerstad said.

Michaud said there is no video surveillance inside any city park. He said investigators would like to see video recorded from nearby buildings, taken between 11 p.m. Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday.

The park is open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Young at 206-684-5534, or email him at

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.