Police say the spray paint on the church in Virginia displayed comments related to the recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
RESTON, Va. — A fire was started Sunday on the grounds of a local church and the building was defaced with graffiti to display comments on the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, according to Reston police.
The Fairfax County Fire Department arrived on the scene around 6:45 a.m. Sunday morning at St. John Neumann Catholic Community Church at 11900 Lawyers Road in Reston. They had received a report of “smoldering mulch”.
However, upon investigation, firefighters said they found an ‘accelerator’ likely used in the blaze and also found spray-painted graffiti on a sign at the entrance to the church. After the two discoveries, the fire brigade also called the police for help.
Officers eventually found three more spots at the back of the building damaged by graffiti.
“The spray-painted remarks were related to the Supreme Court’s recent Roe v. Wade decision,” police said in a statement on Sunday; however, they did not specify what the writing said or whether he was in favor or against the decision. Police also did not say what connection, if any, the church may have had with the subject.
The ruling by the court’s conservative majority, which was released on Friday and ended 50 years of federally guaranteed abortion access, is expected to lead to bans in about half of the states.
RELATED: Which States Will Likely Ban Abortion Now That Roe v. Wade is cancelled?
In the state, Gov. Glenn Youngkin hailed the highly anticipated decision. Abortion is currently legal in Virginia up to 25 weeks of pregnancy, but Youngkin said he favors a 15-week threshold.
Officers have since announced they are working with church staff to review surveillance footage and continue to increase patrols at places of worship. They also shared that they were working with regional law enforcement partners to determine who might be responsible.
RELATED: Virginia Governor Wants to Strengthen Abortion Laws After Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. wade
Police are asking anyone who may have information about this incident to contact detectives at 703-478-0904. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by Internet – Click HERE. Download the tip411 “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers” mobile app. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000, according to police, who are asking the public to leave contact information if they want a detective to follow up.
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