Sept. 12, 2016. Crime of the Week: Church Graffiti Hate Crime
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016.
CRIME OF THE WEEK PRESS RELEASE
Up to $1,000 Reward for Crime of the Week: FRIENDSHIP BAPTIST CHURCH GRAFFITI
Parker County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a graffiti call Monday afternoon in Springtown, where Friendship Baptist Church had been vandalized.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the suspect(s) used black spray paint to deface two exterior walls of the church with demonic symbols, profanity and racial slurs.
“This is very troublesome,” Sheriff Fowler said. “It is disturbing when someone defaces a house of worship in a hate crime. This incident is at the top of the list for unspeakable acts.”
The incident was reported shortly after 3 p.m., in the 800 block of Friendship Road, when a passerby noticed the paint markings on the side of the church and contacted a deacon who lives near the neighborhood.
Sheriff’s investigators believe the incident occurred sometime between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday.
Two exterior walls on the south and west side of the church were damaged.
Church members and volunteers waited on the scene for Sheriff’s Office personnel to complete their investigation so they could begin cleaning, scrubbing, pressure washing and painting the exterior walls of their church.
Church members reported this is the second incident where Friendship Baptist Church has been an intentional target of a crime. About two months ago, unknown suspect(s) placed rocks and gravel in the shape of a pentagram, near the same location of today’s incident on church grounds.
The graffiti charge is enhanced to a state jail felony due to the targeted building being a place or house of worship, and the amount of damage or costs to restore the church amounts to more than $750, according to Texas State Law.
Sheriff Fowler added the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division is now charge of the investigation.
Parker County Crime Stoppers has designated this offense as the Crime of the Week. Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest or indictment of the individual(s) involved in this crime. Anyone with information about the identities or location of the suspect(s) involved in this crime is encouraged to contact Parker County Crime Stoppers at (817) 599-5555 or (800) 942-STOP, or visit the Parker County Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.parkercountycrimestoppers.com to learn more ways to submit a tip. Your information and identity will remain anonymous. Make the call today to help us solve this case so we can help you cash in your reward.