FBI: Race a factor in church vandalism

| February 18, 2012

LAFAYETTE — A 34-year-old Lafayette man was indicted in federal court this week for allegedly defacing two local churches in February 2011 because of the race, color and ethnicity of their congregations.

Brian Toriano Crimiel, who is black, was arrested last year for allegedly spray-painting racial slurs and leaving hate-filled notes strewn about St. James Baptist Church on Plum Street and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on 12th Street, police said. The incidents occurred Feb. 13 and Feb. 26, respectively, at the two churches, which police have said have primarily black congregations.

The three-count indictment, which was made available on Friday, charges Crimiel with two counts of damage to religious property and one count of false statement. Neither police nor federal authorities have provided any motive for the crime.

The indictment says Crimiel lied to an FBI agent by claiming he did not use nor have access to a cellphone that was used on the morning of Feb. 13 to make a 911 call to the Lafayette Police Department.



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Category: Church Security

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