Hate Language Written On 100 Vehicles; Police Charge Four Suspects
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Racial, ethnic and anti-gay slurs were written on more than 100 vehicles in a Manassas neighborhood, and four people have been charged in the vandalism, Prince William County police said yesterday.
Police responded early Thursday to the Sudley Place subdivision to investigate complaints of the graffiti, which were written with a washable soap marker and caused little or no damage. Vehicles were apparently chosen at random, police said.
The same day, police arrested Manassas residents Nathan A. McNeel, 21, and Caitlin M. Pilkington, 18, and Edward R. Madrid, 20, of no fixed address, and charged each with seven counts of destruction of property and one count of unlawful entry with intent to commit a hate crime. Madrid is being held without bond on unrelated outstanding charges, and McNeel and Pilkington were released on their own recognizance, police said. The three are due in court Dec. 10.
Adrian M. Owens, 18, of Manassas has also been charged with the same counts in warrants but has not been arrested. Drugs and alcohol were involved in the graffiti, although it's unclear whether all four suspects were under the influence of them, police said.
In a statement, Police Chief Charlie T. Deane said residents' quick action reporting the vandalism helped the investigation.
"Even though the damage was minimal, we treat these incidents very seriously, and they are investigated with a high priority due to the fear and anxiety they cause a community," Deane said.