On April 1 at about 2 a.m., Pastor Charles Curtiss found fake blood on a number of items in the yard of The One Church on Rawlins Street. Among the items damaged were statues and the church sign in the front lawn. The blood was also smeared across the sidewalks.
Police responding to the attack said it was fake or theatrical blood and suspected it may have been an April Fools Day prank.
However, Curtiss wants the blood-smearing incident investigated as an anti-gay hate crime. He said fliers were left scattered on the lawn from a Satanic church in Grand Prairie.
When the vandalism was reported, police spoke to the 80-year-old property owner. The church is one of several tenants in the building, so the initial police report didn’t link the crime to a church or to sexual orientation.
Sr. Cpl. Laura Martin, the Dallas Police Department’s LGBT liaison officer, said proving a hate crime is difficult because prosecutors would have to show that bias was the motivation. No one has come forward to report that they saw the crime committed and no evidence of bias was left. Although fake blood was splattered, no hate messages were written.
Martin said that the incident is still under investigation and a detective was expected to be assigned on Monday.
UPDATE: A detective was assigned to the case and spoke with Curtiss. He gave police the fliers from the Grand Prairie church and police contacted the church.
“They’re trying to say they didn’t have any direct involvement,” Curtiss said. “There’s no way to know who out of their church did this.”
If caught, the vandals would be charged with defacement of private property.
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