CULPEPER, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Police in Culpeper, Virginia are investigating a possible hate crime that happened overnight after someone spray-painted disturbing messages on a local pregnancy center and damaged windows.
The Pregnancy Center has severed the small farming community for 20 years and has never experienced anything like this.
"Everyone is shocked. The community embraces this place," town councilman Jon Russell said. "We love babies, we love mommas. That's what they do here at the pregnancy center."
The suspect spray-painted in red on the sign and the sides of the pregnancy center along Sunset Lane messages such as "you hate women" and "Jesus hates this (expletive)."
Authorities said a large rock was also used to smash the front window. Police told FOX 5 they received a call at about 3:30 a.m. from someone driving by who noticed the damage.
Crews have since boarded up the broken glass and removed the spray paint. Investigators have also taken molds of any footprints found in the snow.
President and COO DJ Carter told FOX 5 the pregnancy center is one of four locations in central Virginia and serves as a Christian non-profit for women and families facing unplanned pregnancies.
However, they do not perform or refer for abortions.
"We serve post-supportive women, we serve women in times of crisis and those with STIs and STDs. So we give treatment and also share beautiful ministry opportunities with churches and we let people know all the information of carrying their baby, abortion and adoption," Carter explained. "Instead of being angry, we've rejoiced this is an opportunity for us to talk about what to do and we also pray for the individuals who attacked us in this way."
Police have stepped up patrols and continue to canvas the area. If you have any information that could aid detectives in their investigation, you're urged to call the Culpeper Police Department at (540) 727-3430.