By Kent Larsen
Vandals Deface LDS Chapel in Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS -- Vandals have defaced an LDS Chapel in Little
Rock, Arkansas and a neighboring Baptist Church on Monday night,
leading church members to spend Tuesday evening cleaning up the worst
of the attack. The vandals, who have not yet been identified by
police, spray-painted profane messages and satanic, racial and drug
images on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's stake
building in southwestern Little Rock.
After learning of the vandalism, Little Rock Bishop Nick Stigall
organized a massive clean-up effort Tuesday from members of his ward.
Stigall explained to KARK TV4 News, "I'm disappointed; there's a lot
of four-letter language that we wouldn't want kids to see, so we're
going to try to get it cleaned off first." The vandals spray-painted
messages like 'wall of death' and 'satan loves you.' Stigall says he
thought things like this didn't happen any more, "The horrible thing
is we think we're beyond all that, those were things that happened in
The vandals also attacked the Otter Creek First Baptist Church across
the street, spray-painting similar messages and pictures on their
walls. A member of that church, Paul Midkiff, said, "it's sick--I
think the kids really need some help." Also victimized were several
neighbors, whose mailboxes were vandalized.
Since the vandals left spray paint cans at the scene, detectives hope
that the cans will lead them to those responsible. Currently, the
vandals face misdemeanor criminal mischief charges, but if damage
exceeds $500, the charges can be upgraded to felony charges, leading
to up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The attack is the most recent incident of vandalism against LDS
buildings, including an Ohio building that was partially destroyed in
an arson attack and a string of attacks in the Salt Lake City area.
Vandals Strike SW Little Rock
Little Rock AR KARK-TV4 22Aug01 D1
By Alice Stewart
Mormon News' Coverage of Vandalism Against Mormon Property