Racist graffiti was found at a church in Gambrills earlier this week, prompting Anne Arundel County police to conduct a manhunt for a 66-year-old man accused of multiple hate crimes.
Following a similar occurrence last month, when a racist epithet was sprayed on the church’s doors before a food distribution one morning, graffiti was spotted at Kingdom Celebration Center on Wednesday night.
The most recent incident involves three accusations of hate crimes and a fourth allegation of malicious property destruction against Donald Eugene Hood Jr., 66, who does not have a known residence. According to a news release from the department, police were able to identify him after looking at CCTV footage from the church.
He may or may not have participated in the vandalism event from last month, which prompted several local officials to gather at the church to protest the racist graffiti.
Detectives “will undoubtedly be looking at Hood given his suspected participation with the prior incident at the Kingdom Celebration Center,” according to police spokesperson Marc Limansky.
Calling 410-222-8610 will connect you to the Anne Arundel County Police Department, which is looking for Hood. He is known to frequent the Odenton and Gambrills region, according to the police.
County Executive Steuart Pittman issued a statement on Wednesday saying, “I am shocked by these acts of hate targeting Black churches in our community. Using “all available resources to capture” the suspect, he claimed to have given the police department instructions.
Pittman stated, “I urge you to join me in rejecting racist hate wherever and whenever it occurs. To my fellow citizens who believe that we are all created equal.” And to those who persist in intimidating our neighbours and committing these abhorrent hate crimes: “Know that your prejudice will not thwart the efforts of these outstanding Black leaders, and know that when you are apprehended you will be held accountable to the greatest extent of the law.”
The head of the Kingdom Celebration Center, Bishop Antonio Palmer, said that he would hold another conference on the subject on Sunday at the church.
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