Police continue to look for Pine Island church vandals

Author: carolyn Brewster
Published: Updated:

ST. JAMES CITY, Fla,- A Pine Island church was vandalized and it’s being called a hate crime. Police say feces were smeared all over the church signs, walls and door handles.

When Pastor Heidi Grueser received the phone call telling her Pine Island Community Church had been vandalized, she immediately drove over but she couldn’t believe what she saw when she got there.

“At first I thought it was maybe mud or some kind of paint–brown paint. But I got out of the car and the sheriff was already there and I was like ‘no’ and he said ‘yeah’ because I mean the smell was just it was intense,” said Grueser.

Animal feces were smeared across church signs, caked on the walls and even jammed into the door handles.

“It was a smelly mess. It’s one of those things you don’t think of to even think that it would happen,” she said.

The church is located on Doug Taylor Circle, just off of Stringfellow Road.

Grueser says the church isn’t well lit and because of that the area is usually patrolled throughout the night but the vandals managed to escape without being seen. A week and a half later and investigators are still trying to find out who did it.

“It was very disheartening that someone would come to a community church that as you can see all of the traffic and customers that we have. A lot of these customers are people that we take care of,” said Brenda Swett, manager of the Pine Island Community Church Thrift Store.

“I told my church on Sunday, I was like ‘you know what, manure just makes things grow so it’ll just make us grow. It’ll just make us stronger and more beautiful’ but that was tough. It was a tough morning,” said Grueser.

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