Countywide

Police investigate arson, graffiti related to Roe v. Wade at Reston church

Fairfax County police car (file photo)

Local police are investigating an incident of arson and graffiti that occurred at St. John Neumann Catholic Community Church in Reston yesterday (Sunday).

The graffiti, which was found at the entrance of the church and multiple areas in the back, was related to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which previously guaranteed the federal protection abortion rights, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Although FCPD did not immediately disclose the specifics of the graffiti, the police department has stepped up patrols at places of worship following the vandalism.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage as the investigation continues. The FCPD is also working with regional law enforcement agencies on the investigation.

In a statement released yesterday, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay strongly condemned the “attack on a house of worship.”

“We will not permit any action that seeks to diminish or silence someone’s point of view, and categorically reject violence or any act of extremism, period,” McKay wrote in the statement.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department arrived on the scene at 6:45 a.m. yesterday after smoldering mulch was discovered at the Catholic church. Fire crews determined an accelerant was used in the fire and discovered graffiti in multiple locations.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the FCPD using the following information:

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to contact detectives at 703-478-0904. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – Type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by web – Click HERE. Download our Mobile tip411 App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

The church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.