Man arrested on hate crime charges in church vandalism

August 6, 2022 GMT

ANNE ARUNDEL, Md. (AP) — Police in Maryland have arrested a 66-year-old man on multiple hate crimes charges after racist graffiti was discovered at a church in Anne Arundel County.

The Capital newspaper reports that the graffiti discovered at Kingdom Celebration Center Wednesday followed a similar incident last month, when a racist slur was found on the church’s doors before a food distribution one morning.

Donald Eugene Hood Jr., 66, who has no fixed address, faces three hate crime charges and a fourth charge of malicious destruction of property in the most recent incident. Police identified him after reviewing surveillance footage from the church, according to a news release from the department.

He was arrested Friday and was later released on his recognizance, the news release said.

Police have not determined whether he was involved in the vandalism incident last month.

“I am appalled by these acts of hate targeting Black churches in our communities,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said in a statement Wednesday.