White supremacist graffiti scrawled across Snoqualmie
July 2, 2009 · 4:03 PM
Father John Ludvik had a rude surprise when he arrived at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Snoqualmie for Sunday services, June 28.
Profanity and white supremacist graffiti had been scrawled across the church's exterior with a black felt pen.
“It was embarrassing and shocking,” the priest said. “I felt angry that somebody would have the desire to do something like that to a church.”
A parishioner got some white paint from his home and quickly covered over the hate-filled messages while families arrived for mass.
Two other churches within a few blocks were vandalized the night before, probably by the same person or people, according to Snoqualmie police.
The attacks are part of a spate of white supremacist and other hate-filled graffiti that has hit Snoqualmie over the past month. In June, police received reports of eight attacks, targeting mostly churches and a Christian bookstore. Mount Si High School and the Snoqualmie Indian tribe's offices were also vandalized.
View White supremacist graffiti scrawled across Snoqualmie in a larger map
Like most communities, Snoqualmie has seen graffiti before, but it has never been so focused on hate messages, said Sergent Paul Graham, a Snoqualmie police officer.
Police believe one person or group of people are likely responsible for the attacks.
“There is a correlation in the graffiti displays that would lead us to believe one person is involved,” he said.
Since the first incidents in early June, the graffiti's content has been very similar, featuring swastikas and messages such as “White power,” “Jesus is a Jew” and “Kill religion.” Police noted a similarity in the handwriting in two attacks on Scriptures Christian Bookstore, which was vandalized twice in eight days.
One incident was reported while in progress, but the suspect had left before police arrived. The caller reported seeing a white male between 15 and 20 years old and about five feet, eight inches tall with a stocky build and short, dark hair.
The perpetrator could be charged with felony malicious mischief, which, if convicted, could mean jail time, a fine and paying restitution for damages caused.
Graffiti is “a crime where nobody gets anything out of it. Nobody's feeding their family off it,” said Graham. “It's just there. It doesn't benefit anybody.”