LA PLATA, Md. - The Charles County Sheriffs Office has arrested four juveniles who wrote racially offensive and gang-related graffiti on a school playground in March.
Based on evidence left at the scene, investigators determined that on the night of March 18, the four juveniles wrote White Power, KKK, other racially offensive phrases and references to two gangs, the Bloods and the Crips, on the playground equipment at Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School, located at 421 University Drive in Waldorf. The juveniles also drew sexually explicit drawings on the playground equipment and used paintball guns to break light bulbs and shoot paintballs on the exterior of the school.
The four juveniles include a 14-year-old Bryans Road boy, two 14-year-old Waldorf boys and a 15-year-old Waldorf boy. They are all from interracial families and represent diverse racial backgrounds including black, white, Hispanic and Asian. They were interviewed by Det. C. Shankster of the Hate Crimes Task Force, which includes the Charles County Sheriffs Office and the FBI. The juveniles admitted to participating in the crime because they were bored and said they wanted to gain neighborhood notoriety and knew the news media would report the incident. None of the juveniles are members of any racists groups or organizations or of any gangs. They are being charged with a hate crime and malicious destruction of property valued at less than $500.
These juveniles and others play paintball at the school on weekends and have vandalized the buildings and playground equipment on numerous occasions. The March 18 incident was the first in which they vandalized the school with hate-filled graffiti.
Seven other hate crime arrests have been made since September, when two teenage boys were charged with spray painting two residences and a vehicle with racist graffiti. In March, five teens were charged with a hate crime for writing racists remarks on a mailbox they obtained and discarded in the victims yard during a spree of mailbox destruction over two consecutive weekends.
None of the teens, including those arrested most recently, have been linked to other hate crimes. The Hate Crimes Task Force is actively investigating those incidents and is asking anyone with information to contact Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS. All callers may remain anonymous.