LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Police in Kentucky say a juvenile suspect has been charged with burglary and criminal mischief in connection with vandalism at a Hindu temple.
Louisville Metro Police Detective Russell Montfort say the 17-year-old suspect was arrested Thursday after police received a tip.
Authorities say the teen broke windows and spray-painted “repugnant messages of hate” and black crosses inside the Swaminarayan Temple sometime between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning.
Police Chief Steve Conrad said there were xenophobic and sexist messages and someone spray-painted the eyes of a Hindu religious figure with black paint.
Conrad called the vandalism a hate crime on Wednesday, but Montfort said on Friday that police wouldn’t charge the suspect with a hate crime. He said a judge would take the circumstances into consideration during sentencing.