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Posted 27 Aug 2001   For week ended August 24, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 23Aug01

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 50's."

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


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