Madison PD investigating link between graffiti on Christian school, Catholic church

Madison Police Department detectives believe graffiti found on a Christian school on the city’s far east side earlier this month is related to vandalism
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 10:58 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison Police Department detectives believe graffiti found on a Christian school on the city’s far east side earlier this month is related to vandalism that occurred at a Catholic church.

MPD stated that it was notified that the Abundant Life Christian School’s exterior wall and front sign had been spray-painted with graffiti on July 2.

Police stated that the graffiti “involved a message about abortion and criticized the police.”

Employees at the school, which is located on the 4900 block of East Buckeye Road, told police that they noticed the damage on Saturday morning.

Abundant Life Christian School communications director Barbara Wiers said she’s disappointed someone graffitied their building, but said she understands the school’s opinions against abortion could differ from what others believe.

”We are a bible based church and school and we are pro-life. We believe that life begins at conception....” Wier said. “That doesn’t mean that if someone is pro-choice they are our enemy. They are not. We love them and we have a different opinion, different philosophy but it doesn’t mean that we hate them or that we would want to see them hurt or to see them have their building damaged.”

The pro-choice spray paint has been covered but their sign is still covered with anti-police phrasing.

MPD investigators believe the same individual or group of individuals vandalized St. Bernard’s Catholic church and the school because of the identical color spray paint used, timing of the vandalism and the short distance between both buildings.

”Those were things the detective has looked at to be like there’s just too many things that are similar about these four incidents for them to be completely separate acts,” MPD public information officer Steph Fryer said.

When asked why MPD didn’t report the vandalism at the school sooner, Fryer said it’s because the school incident was “self reported” and the church incident was called in via MPD dispatch - garnering a quicker response.

”If it’s more of a situation that doesn’t have to handled like not an emergency situation people often choose to self report so that way officers who are on patrol can remain open for those emergency calls,” Fryer said. ”We support people being able to voice their first amendment rights and everything. We just, again, ask that they do that in a peaceful and respectful manner.”

MPD is also investigating damage to St. Bernard Catholic Church’s front door and signage, which police were notified about on the same day about and contained similar graffiti in blue spray paint lettering. “Abortion and anti-police rhetoric were spray painted on the front door and sign of the church,” police stated.

No arrests have been made yet. Anyone who has information about these incidents is urged to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or submit a tip online.

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