KING AND QUEEN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The King & Queen County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an incident of vandalism in St. Stephens Church was caught on camera, showing juveniles destroying the inside of a property and shouting racial slurs.
Authorities said it happened on Saturday, June 25 on Peach Grove Road. According to a release, the sheriff’s office responded to a call about the destruction of property there. Upon arrival, deputies observed a home with visible damage.
As of Tuesday, July 12, broken windows could still be seen around the residence, with shattered grass in the surrounding field.
“I’m not safe, and I don’t want to hurt nobody to live in my own home,” neighbor Robert Levere told 8News. “It’s just uncalled for. It’s ridiculous. It’s kids that’s not being supervised, and that something need to be done.”
Video of the incident, which residents said was recorded on Snapchat, was not cleared for air. But 8News watched the video with Levere for the first time Tuesday. He reacted as the vandals shouted racial slurs.
“They need to be disciplined,” he said. “If it’s going to a juvenile home, that’s what they need to do, whatever.”
Through further investigation of the incident, authorities said that the suspects were identified as three juveniles — two from King and Queen County and one from Hanover County. They were charged with felony destruction of property and entering the property of another for the purpose of damaging with an enhancement to a felony due to race.
According to a release, the three juveniles were arrested and detained at a juvenile detention facility. An emergency detention hearing was held on Thursday, June 30, where two of the three juveniles were released, and one juvenile’s detention was extended until trial.
8News reached out to the King and Queen County Commonwealth’s Attorney, who confirmed the occurrence of the incident, but said she could not provide comment on the ongoing criminal investigation.
“The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, as well as the King and Queen Sheriff’s Office are handling this with the utmost seriousness and charges have been brought,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Meredith Adkins said.
According to the sheriff’s office, this is an isolated incident, “and there are no other concerns to the public’s safety.” However, authorities also told 8News that there have been multiple calls for disturbances in the area.
“At night, I can be in there asleep or looking at TV and, all of a sudden, there’s big bangs on my door, wonder, and then they run, and they continue doing it, two, three times a night,” Levere said. “It’s just getting to the point [where] something needs to be done.”
Levere said that the property that was destroyed in the video circulating on social media is owned by an elderly Black couple who rent it out. He said that no one was there at the time of the vandalism, but that such incidents have left residents concerned for their safety.