A man from Indiana has been accused of painting “Heil Trump”, a gay slur and a swastika in order to “mobilize a movement” after he was devastated by Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election.
Police arrested 26-year-old George Nathaniel Stang following a six-month investigation and was charged with institutional criminal mischief in connection with the vandalism that occurred last year at St. David’s Episcopal Church, WBIW reported.
The investigation started on November 13,2016 after Reverend Kelsey Hutto reported to the police that the phrase “Heil Trump” was painted on one side of the building, while a swastika and a gay slur were painted on another.
Hutto said she was alerted to the grafitti by Stang himself, who’s the organist at the church.
Police officers obtained a search warrant for Stang’s phone records and found out that he was in the area of the church on the night the vandalism occurred, a claim the arrested man denied.
Following questioning on April 28, he admitted to painting the graffiti on the church building.
According to reports, he committed the crime in order to “mobilize a movement” after President Trump’s election. He insisted he wasn’t motivated by “anti-Christian or anti-gay” feelings, but rather was strictly motivated by fear.
Court documents also claim Stang “wanted to give local people a reason to fight for good even if it was a false flag.”
The Brown County Prosecutor’s Office says they do not believe the crime was motivated by hate, which is why he will not be charged with a hate crime.
Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows released a statement following Stang’s arrest claiming she was “saddenned to learn” that the act of vandalism was committed ” by the church’s organist, Nathan Stang”.
“We are living now in a political climate that is so divisive and highly charged that people from all across the political spectrum are making thoughtless and hurtful choices that they believe are justified by the righteousness of their causes. As people who follow Jesus, we must find a different way.”