Two days after arresting 33-year-old Brian Crimiel for vandalizing St. James Baptist Church on Plum Street Feb. 13, the Lafayette Police Department also charged him in the defacement of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and School on Surrey Street over the weekend. Both churches were defaced with derogatory and racially-charged words.
Crimiel was charged Monday with hate crimes, obstruction of justice, criminal damage to property with graffiti, possession of marijuana and felony possession of a firearm in connection with Saturday’s church damages. Ind photographer Robin May attempted to photograph the destruction, but the racially-charged messages had been cleaned off the walls Saturday. Church personnel told investigators that the incident occurred some time between the hours of 6:30 p.m. Friday and early Saturday morning. Police responded Saturday at about 6:30 a.m. The suspect or suspects also left a threatening note; notes were left at St. James as well.
Crimiel was arrested Saturday after Lafayette PD and the FBI searched his residence. Initially charged only in the Plum Street incident, he was taken into custody without incident from his vehicle near the intersection of Lafayette and W. Congress streets. In that vandalism case, he was also charged with communication of false information of planned arson.
Both incidents remain under investigation.
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