Boys, 14 to 16, charged in church vandalism

| April 27, 2010

Four boys face two felonies each in connection with vandalizing Milan Baptist Church.

Each of the juvenile suspects, ages 14 to 16, was charged with breaking and entering and vandalism stemming from the April 1 incident. Prosecutors filed the complaints this morning (Monday).

Huron County Juvenile Court Administrator Chris Mushett said one the defendants is from Sandusky while the other three accomplices are Milan residents.

"No hearings have been set yet," he said.

The boys are accused of sliding a side window open and emptying the contents of two fire extinguishers in the sanctuary, cloth pews, hallways and "every single classroom," Huron County Sheriff's Lt. Annette McLaughlin said soon after the incident. She also said the culprits forced open the pastor's locked door and one boy urinated near the baptismal area of the sanctuary.

"It wasn't a retaliatory thing. It didn't have anything to do with the church," McLaughlin said.

About 40 church volunteers arrived between the Friday and Saturday after the incident to clean up the mess so the church could have its Easter Sunday service. The Rev. Rodney Hollen has estimated people worked anywhere from five to 12 hours.

"We were able to hold our Sunday service with no disruption. It went very well. We probably had 200 in attendance," the pastor said.

During the investigation, authorities recovered an antique hourglass with a green marble holder, a headset stolen from a music stand, utility flashlight, wireless router and fog machine. McLaughlin said the boys were cooperative and they said they were bored when they committed the vandalism.

The damage, as listed in the state's complaint, is estimated to be more than $5,000 but less than $100,000.

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Category: Church Security

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