LONG BEACH (WLOX) - Over the weekend, four people were arrested and charged with the crime. As hundreds worshipped at the church's dedication service at its new location, four suspects face felony malicious mischief charges in connection with the June 17 vandalism of First Baptist Church in Long Beach.
- 22-year-old Arthur Price
- 17-year-old Matthew Baker
- 17-year-old Brittany Marble
- 17-year-old Mary Beylick
All four have been charged with felony malicious mischief. The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. While the four suspects will be tried in a court of law, members of First Baptist Church in Long Beach show compassion and mercy for the alleged vandals.
"We were just very sad that it happened to begin with. Not really sad for the building but for those who did it, that they would have such hatred in their heart to do something like that," said church member Brenda Davis.
According to the police report, the vandalism was alcohol-related. Church members say during the vandalism, which included grafitti and broken windows, one of the vandals was injured.
"We just pray that God would just be with them because one got severely injured, and we knew that from all the blood that was there," Davis said. "So we just kept praying for them, that God would just take care of them, and that His will would be done. But we were just very sad about it."
There are no longer signs of the vandalism, and the church was as good as new on the day of its dedication.
All four of the suspects were taken to the Harrison County Jail on a $2,500 bond.