Lake Tahoe church vandalized with anti-Christian graffiti for second time
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating another anti-Christian graffiti vandalism incident at a North Lake Tahoe church.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church at 341 Village Blvd. in Incline Village was vandalized sometime between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday, officials said Friday afternoon.
“The suspect, or suspects, painted graffiti on the church building and a car that was parked on church property,” according to a WCSO press release. “Letters mounted to the front of the church were also stolen.”
In an interview Friday afternoon, WCSO Spokesman Bob Harmon said most of the blue markings were of an “anti-Christian sentiment.”
Further, a second church was vandalized overnight Wednesday with a small amount of graffiti, Harmon said, although “it was nothing to the extent of what happened at St. Patrick’s.”
Due to the nature of the crime involving a place of worship, WCSO notified the FBI, which is also investigating a series of church vandalisms that occurred on Easter Sunday in Incline Village.
In that incident, the town’s five churches — located on McCourry, Village (St. Patrick’s) and Northwood boulevards, Mount Rose Highway and Country Club Drive — were reportedly tagged with anti-Christianity messages.
In Nevada, while a hate crime by law is defined as one committed against a person, WCSO Lt. Jeff Clark said previously that he considers the Easter vandalism in “the realm of being a hate crime,” since the graffiti’s messages denounced a religion.
On Friday, Harmon said it’s too soon in the investigation to determine if the incidents are connected.
“That’s certainly something we’re not going to rule out,” he added.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL FBI; the WCSO Incline Village Substation at 775-832-4107; or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900.
A WCSO inmate work crew was sent to St. Patrick’s Thursday morning to clean up the damage, officials said.