Walker County Sheriff’s Office investigating weekend vandalism

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WALKER COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) – Walker County is reeling from a pair of vandalism cases that happened within five minutes of each other over the weekend.

“It’s just troubling when this happens and we’re certainly working
hard to try to find the person that is responsible,” says Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson.

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For Ridgeland High School, this is now the second incident of
vandalism in just a few weeks.

Walker County Sheriff’s Office responded to the school after it was
discovered that areas of the football field were sprayed with orange
paint.

While the previous incident contained anti-law enforcement messages,
the paint in this incident spelled out the name of a student and a
graduating year.

“We’re not sure if that is the suspect or if that suspect is using
that name to demean somebody that he had something against,” says Sheriff Wilson.

The Sheriff did provide surveillance photos of a possible suspect.

And at Mission Ridge Baptist Church, investigating officers found
several broken items, plus more written messages.

“(There was) Tore up furniture, pushed over desks, urinated throughout the church,
left notes of random sayings throughout the church,” Sheriff Wilson says, explaining the scene inside the church.

But when asked for the motivation of the perpetrator might be, Sheriff
Wilson couldn’t give an answer, saying that it was a crime of
opportunity.

“(He was) Most likely suffering from maybe a mental episode or maybe
intoxicated and found the church open and decided to do these terrible
things to the church,” he says, explaining possible motives.

The principal of Ridgeland High School says that the incident left
her feeling frustrated and concerned about the cost of repairs.

“When somebody comes in and mistreats something that’s for the kids
and for our community, it’s just not right,” says Principal Karen Hughes.

And as one of the original graduates of Ridgeland, Principal Hughes says the vandalism is personal for her.

“It makes me angry, and I want to make sure that whoever has done this
wrong is caught and they have to be held accountable for what they’ve
done,” she says.