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Church vandalism prompts zero tolerance move for juvenile curfew violators

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette

Vandals used spray paint to spell “Fake Faith!” on a wall at the First Baptist Church of Bardstown. The vandalism was discovered Tuesday morning. Click to enlarge.

Obscenities are painted on the windows of the church’s van. Click to enlarge.

Vandals spray painted “F#ck Heaven” “F#ck Hell” on an exterior wall at the First Baptist Church of Bardstown. Click to enlarge.

A pentagram and the words “burn people” and “kill” were painted on a window and exterior wall. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 — Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin announced Tuesday at the Bardstown City Council meeting that his department will adopt a “zero tolerance” policy for juveniles who violate the city’s curfews law. The crackdown comes on the heels of vandalism and thefts that have taken place in and around downtown Bardstown.

McCubbin said the curfew ordinance was a tool police have available when warranted. “We don’t use it every night,” he said. “But with fall break and the problems we’ve been having, we’re going to tackle it very aggressively.”

Tuesday morning, Bardstown Police were called to the First Baptist Church of Bardstown to investigate vandalism. Over night, some individuals left anti-Christian, ┬ámessages in white spray paint on the exterior of the church and on the church’s van.

The church vandalism crossed a line, McCubbin said. “That’s really pushing the envelope,” he said.

The department’s emphasis will be enforcing the curfew, which will impact the parents and guardians of juveniles found in violation. “We’re going back on the parents because they ultimately are responsible,” he said. “We’re tired of babysitting and disciplining your children, so we’re going to hold the parents accountable for what’s going on.”

The city’s curfew law prohibits juveniles under 18 from being out in public after 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and after 1 a.m. Saturday and Sundays.

Parents whose children violate the curfew ordinance may be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and even jail time. The fine for a first offense is no more than $100. Second and subsequent offenses can bring fines of up to $500 for each offense, plus up to six months in jail.

The investigation into the vandalism at the First Baptist Church is ongoing, McCubbin said. Anyone with information about the incident can contact the Bardstown Police at (502) 348-6811.

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