Waynesboro Police Investigating Vandalism as Hate Crime
A graffiti incident in Waynesboro is being investigated as a hate crime.
Waynesboro police say a home on Henry Avenue was tagged sometime after midnight Wednesday.
Investigators say two sides of the house were hit with black spray paint and the graffiti contained racial epithets.
If you have any information that could help police, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-322-2017.
Waynesboro Police Department Media Release
The Waynesboro Police Department is seeking information on a vandalism that occurred to the home of a Waynesboro citizen sometime overnight on Wednesday, November 14, 2012. At approximately 1:45 AM, officers from the Police Department responded to a residence in the 100 block of Henry Ave for a report of a prowler call. When they arrived, they found graffiti written in black spray paint on two sides of the victim's house. The graffiti contained racial epithets. The suspect or suspects had apparently fled the property prior to the officers' arrival.
The Police Department has begun a "hate crime" investigation into this incident. The Code of Virginia statute concerning hate crimes is reprinted below:
§ 52-8.5. Reporting hate crimes.
A. The Superintendent shall establish and maintain within the Department of State Police a central repository for the collection and analysis of information regarding hate crimes and groups and individuals carrying out such acts.
B. State, county and municipal law-enforcement agencies shall report to the Department all hate crimes occurring in their jurisdictions in a form, time and manner prescribed by the Superintendent. Such reports shall not be open to public inspection except insofar as the Superintendent shall permit.
C. For purposes of this section, "hate crime" means (i) a criminal act committed against a person or his property with the specific intent of instilling fear or intimidation in the individual against whom the act is perpetrated because of race, religion or ethnic origin or that is committed for the purpose of restraining that person from exercising his rights under the Constitution or laws of this Commonwealth or of the United States, (ii) any illegal act directed against any persons or their property because of those persons' race, religion or national origin, and (iii) all other incidents, as determined by law-enforcement authorities, intended to intimidate or harass any individual or group because of race, religion or national origin.