Port Neches police are investigating vandalism overnight along Llano Street. Chief Paul Lemoine says four areas were hit, and one was the Southside Baptist Church, which had just put up a new cross.
High pressure water washes away what remains of the vandalism done to the church Tuesday night. Someone took a can of black spray paint to the steps leading to the front doors, and even worse, the brand new cross adorning the front lawn.
"It's sad that people would have this kind of vindictive feeling towards a church or animosity towards a church, where they could come and do something like that, particularly to a cross!" said Dr. David Birdsong, the pastor of the church.
A crew was busy shoveling dirt Wednesday morning, getting the garden started that will surround the cross, which had just been set in the ground Tuesday. Dr. Birdsong wiped off the graffiti as soon as he could.
"We want that to be the centerpiece of what people see as they drive by in front of the church... the cross, that's a statement of what we value the most," he said.
The cross wasn't the only piece of church property defaced, the church sign was also marked with graffiti. And down the street at a private building, the same marks can be seen along the walls. Police say a total of four buildings were vandalized in the area.
"After I read the reports from overnight and found out there was some other graffiti, and just driving around town found some more, and realized it was part of a tagging that went on up and down Llano last night," Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine said told 12 News HD.
As Dr. Birdsong looked over the vandalism done to his church, he had a good attitude when he thinks about those responsible, whoever they may be.
"My hope is that this is the last time that we'll see them, unless they want to come to church on Sunday morning and visit us during worship, that'd be just fine," he said.
Dr. Birdsong said following last night's vandalism, he plans to have security cameras installed around the building.
The other vandalized buildings were a Texaco gas station and the bathroom building of a nearby park.
Chief Lemoine says they know who might be behind the vandalism. And says when the perpetrators are caught, they could face felony charges that could put them in jail for up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.
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