A 31-year-old Bellevue resident is being charged with a hate crime and assault after allegedly vandalizing a local church and throwing rocks at a bystander.
Around 10 a.m. June 28, police responded to a disturbance at St. Louise Catholic Church located at 141 156th Ave. SE. When an officer arrived, the church employee who called appeared to have been sprayed in the face with black spray paint. The victim who was spray painted also said the suspect had thrown rocks at him.
The suspect was identified nearby, and as an officer made contact, the suspect reportedly attacked their vehicle before being detained.
Police believe the defendant, Maeve J. Nota, not only smashed two of the church’s glass doors, but also defaced religious statues with spray paint and spray painted dozens of phrases around the campus and property of the church.
According to charging documents, the spray painting included messages like “women haters,” “rot in your fake hell,” “abusers,” “kid groomers,” “we hate gay people,” and other pointed phrases.
“The graffiti painted on church walls and artifacts was anti-Catholic,” the Bellevue Police Department said via Twitter. “According to the RCW, a hate crime includes acts that ‘Defaces religious real property with words, symbols, or items that are derogatory to persons of the faith associated with the property.’”