Police: Three arrested for vandalizing downtown Charleston church

Police: Three arrested for vandalizing downtown Charleston church
Officers arrested Nathan McElwain, 43, Jesse Earle, 29, and Sarah Sleeman, 30, for malicious injury to a place of worship. (Source: CCDC)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Police Department have arrested three people accused of spray-painting a downtown church.

Officers arrested Nathan McElwain, 43, Jesse Earle, 29, and Sarah Sleeman, 30, for malicious injury to a place of worship. The three suspects each posted a $5,000 bond.

Officers reported that they were on a routine patrol when they found the three suspects spray painting the Greater Refuge Temple Church on Huger Street at around 3:30 a.m. Friday.

According to police, when officers tried to arrest the three suspects they all took off running toward Nassau Street.

While they were running away, police said Earle tripped and was subsequently arrested. Sleeman and McElwain were arrested by supporting officers.

On the church, officers said the three had spray-painted the words “Spicy,” “KOC” and “GABITCH”.

Upon questioning, Sleeman said that she had been the only one vandalizing the church, but an incident report states all three had spray-paint on their hands.

McElwain said he had just met Earle and Sleeman that night a local bar and the spray-painted “tags” had no specific meaning, the report also stated. All three were booked in the Al Cannon Detention Center and are awaiting bond.

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