Bias Crimes Target Churches 27 Sep 12

Several churches in a Wright County community have been targeted by what police are calling bias crimes.

At four of the churches in Buffalo, posters were hung on the front doors with what one pastor describes as a vile, sacrilegious message.

Police said some of the churches were vandalized, including stained glass windows being broken at the Seventh-day Adventist Church and front doors smashed at Hosanna Lutheran.

KARE-TV reports other churches targeted include St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Zion Lutheran and Buffalo Presbyterian. . Police said the vandalism occurred during the past several days.

The Star Tribune reports police announced Wednesday that they had identified a person of interest in the vandalism and expect to make an arrest soon.

Police Chief Mitchell P. Weinzetl said it was clear that bias is motivating “a rampage that damaged these churches.”

Weinzetl said the material on the posters was “blasphemous and also included homosexual references” that are “an attack on a class of people.” He declined to specify the messages but characterized them as inflammatory, saying some included terms that “would be derogatory to people of a homosexual nature.”