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Police investigate church graffiti incident

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Police investigate church graffiti incident

By Shelley Bryne
The Mayfield Messenger

Gang-related words and symbols are among the graffiti someone has spray-painted on the back of a Mayfield church.

"It's awful," said Ollie Reeves, a member of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church on South Eighth Street. "I don't know why they keep doing this. We don't bother anybody."

A church member walking home Friday afternoon noticed the graffiti on the back of the church's youth center and a fence running alongside it, church member Thomas Bright said. Bright called Kentucky State Police to investigate.

"This is about the third time we've been targeted," Bright said.

Vandals used red and orange spray paint to spray profanity, a cartoon picture of a pig, the word "gang," a crown image and other symbols on the concrete blocks.

Bright said the church just had the blocks repainted in the last year or two, costing $300. Now the church will have to stretch its budget far enough to paint over them again.

Bright said skateboarders previously laid down plywood on the roof and were skating off of it onto the elevated parking lot next door. The church put barbed wire on the roof's edge to deter it because it was causing so much shingle damage. On other occasions, people have spray-painted messages and broken windows.

Police suspected area youth had caused the damage on previous occasions, but Bright said he was more concerned this time because of the mention of gangs in the graffiti.

The graffiti had to have occurred sometime within the past few days because people have been at the church for services recently and to decorate for a meeting. Bright asked anyone with information to call Kentucky State Police.

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