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SPRINGTOWN (CBSDFW.COM) – Parker County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a graffiti call Monday afternoon in Springtown, where Friendship Baptist Church was vandalized.
“I don’t like what some people do, but I don’t go paint their house,” said church member Jerry Grubis, who has worshipped there for 40 years.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the suspect or suspects 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 happened 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.
They said it’s the second incident where Friendship Baptist Church was an intentional target of a crime. About two months ago, someone put 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.
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