3 arrested for vandalizing South Carolina church

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Three people face charges in South Carolina for allegedly spray-painting a church.

Officers early Friday arrested Nathan McElwain, 43, Jesse Earle, 29, and Sarah Sleeman, 30, for malicious injury to a place of worship. Earle and Sleeman each posted a $5,000 bond. McElwain is currently behind bars at the Al Cannon Detention Center also on a $5,000 bond. It was unknown if any of them have an attorney who could comment on their behalf.

Officers on a routine patrol spotted the suspects spray painting the Greater Refuge Temple Church in Charleston around 3:30 a.m. Friday, WCSC-TV reported. According to police, when officers tried to arrest them they all fled. While they were running away, police said Earle tripped and was subsequently arrested. Sleeman and McElwain were later picked up as well.

Officers said the three had spray-painted the words “Spicy,” “KOC” and “GABITCH” on the church. During questioning, McElwain told officers the “tags” had no specific meaning.

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