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Belleville Church Hit With Racist Graffiti, Property Damage

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) -  Charges are expected to be filed later today against five teenagers reportedly caught in the act of vandalizing a Metro East church earlier this week.

Dr. William Means, pastor at New Freedom Baptist Church, caught the offenders in the act Tuesday when he arrived at the church (90 Friendly Dr.) with some contractors.

He ordered the teens to the ground and they did so until police arrived at the scene.

The suspects are ages 12 through 19.

They allegedly sprayed racist graffiti and did extensive damage to tables, chairs and other church property.

Prosecutors have not yet indicated whether the suspects will be charged with a hate crime.

In a way the vandalism did bring the community together, however.

On Wednesday volunteers from throughout the Belleville community turned out to help clean up the mess.

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