The San Luis Obispo Police Department is investigating a felony vandalism, which included graffiti and broken lights, that occurred at the Calvary Baptist Church early Wednesday morning.
A police department press release stated that “the vandalism was extensive and involved the spray painting of derogatory comments on a number of walls and buildings on the property. The comments were anti-Christian in nature. There were also negative statements about President Bush.”
“I can’t understand why people think we’ll . stop believing what we believe,” Cal Poly instructor Kathi Reis said. “We’re not going to change anything.” Reis, 50, has attended Calvary Baptist Church since 1983.
Pastor Randall Shanks discovered the graffiti at about 8 a.m. when he arrived at his office, Reis said.
According to the press release, the case is considered a hate crime because the vandalism was targeted at a place of worship and because of the type of statements the vandals made.
Though authorities wouldn’t release the exact wording of those statements, the church’s Web site posted a brief announcement Wednesday regarding the vandalism: “Last night the church was spray painted with messages such as ‘You R dumb.if your (sic) still going to church,’ ‘If U think Christians R saved their (sic) not. They kill. They go to Hell,’ ‘Christians have killed more than anyone else,’ and ‘U think U R better then (sic) other religions. They R all the same.’”
The church’s Web site also stated that a number of obscenities had been spray painted onto the church as well, but didn’t not list any because “much of (the vandalism) is unfit to print.”
Three hallway lights were broken, which Reis speculates was necessary to make the area dark enough for the vandals to proceed undetected as they spray painted the main sanctuary and surrounding buildings with green and gray paint.
Reis said that the vandals only seemed to have defaced the outside of the church, according to the police department’s press release, which stated: “it does not appear the suspects entered the building.” No estimated damage costs are available at this time.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the vandalism to call Detective Russ Griffith at 781-7316 or Crime Stoppers at 549-STOP.