HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Three juveniles suspected of being connected to recent acts of vandalism in Henrico County have been charged after an investigation from police.
Authorities have filed a felony vandalism charge for one juvenile, suspected of being involved in vandalism in the West End. The juvenile student, who 8News has learned is a student at nearby Freeman High School, reportedly sprayed-painted near homes in the 8500 block of Holly Hill Road, 1200 block of Bridle Lane, 9000 block of Farmington Drive and Regency Mall.
Photos from the scene show swastikas spray-painted on road signs, as well as the number 88, which has been used by white supremacists because “H″ is the eighth letter in the alphabet and the number can be used as shorthand for “Heil Hitler.”
Police also investigated vandalism at Godwin High School and have identified two students at the school as suspects. Charges for both include misdemeanor trespassing, felony vandalism and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Henrico Police said on Tuesday there is no credible threat to the school or students in relation to the incident on May 12. Authorities did not provide if the acts of vandalism are connected.
“As I have said repeatedly, hate, bigotry, and racism will not be tolerated in Henrico County. My understanding is that all three of those charged in connection with these crimes are juveniles,” Shannon Taylor, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, said.
“We now must gather more information so we can understand what circumstances, if any, led them to commit such egregious acts. Moving forward, my office will be thoroughly investigating these cases to make sure it does not happen again and to determine the best way to handle the unacceptable acts committed by these young people to ensure the community’s safety.”
The Henrico County Public Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Amy E. Cashwell, commended the effort from authorities in a statement on Tuesday:
These developments would not be possible without the strong partnership that our school division has with Henrico Police. Because of this partnership, schools are among the safest places for students to be, and we look forward to having a great school day on Wednesday. I encourage the Henrico community to join me in extending thanks and gratitude to the men and women who work diligently to keep our community safe. At the same time, we continue to take this matter seriously. School administration will continue to handle the matter directly with these minors and their families in accordance with our Code of Student Conduct, including the possibility of severe consequences.
-Dr. Amy E. Cashwell