Anne Arundel County police seeking 66-year-old man in connection with hate crime at a church


BALTIMORE — Anne Arundel County police are looking for a 66-year-old man suspected of vandalizing a Gambrills church earlier this week with graffiti.

Investigators are looking for Donald Eugene Hood Jr., who is known to frequent the Odenton/Gambrills area, police said.

Hood is wanted for allegedly tagging the Kingdom Celebration Center in Gambrills with “hate-motivated vandalism,” according to police.

The incident occurred on Wednesday evening at the Kingdom Celebration Center, which was also tagged with a racist slur last month, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman Jr. said.

“This is the second time in a matter of weeks that the Kingdom Celebration Center has been the victim of racist graffiti, and I am appalled by these acts of hate targeting Black churches in our communities,” Pittman said.

Investigators used surveillance footage to identify Hood as a suspect, Pittman said.

On July 12, Anne Arundel County public officials and members of the clergy gathered outside the church to condemn the racist act after a racial slur was discovered on the doors of the Kingdom Celebration Center the day before.

Bishop Antonio Palmer, senior pastor at the Kingdom Celebration Center, said he was initially saddened by the discovery.

“This is an attack on the psyche, morale and momentum of a church that is about doing good toward all men — a church that fights for justice, equality, and an equitable society,” Palmer said.

But he went on to say he is committed to continuing the church’s community service.

“I woke up more determined to fight against evil with good,” he said.

Earlier in July Anne Arundel County police reported a “Black Lives Matter” banner outside the Ark and Dove Presbyterian Church in Odenton had been vandalized for the fifth time in two years, including three instances in the last two months. 

Pittman said Friday he’s directing the police department to use all available resources “to capture the perpetrator of this act,” and called on all Anne Arundel County residents to “participate in the apprehension of those who deliberately sow discord in our communities.”

Anyone with information on the vandalism of the Kingdom Celebration Center or other hate crimes is asked to call police at 410-222-4700.

“To my fellow residents who believe that we are all created equal, I urge you to join me in denouncing racist hate wherever and whenever it occurs,” Pittman said. “And to those who continue to harass our neighbors and commit these disgusting hate crimes, know that your bigotry will not stop the work of these excellent Black leaders, and know that when you are arrested you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” 

Elected officials, civil rights leaders and clergy have called a press conference for Sunday to address the vandalism.





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