Sheriff’s office: Teens planned party, vandalized Stark County church

UNIONTOWN, Ohio-- Three teens were arrested after a church in Stark County was vandalized Friday evening.

A resident called the Stark County Sheriff's deputies to report about 20 teens going into the Greentown Church of God on Raymond Street NW.

Inside the church, there were expletives and male genitalia drawn in spray paint on walls, pews and curtains. There was also chocolate syrup smeared over the floors.

“I’m sick! really upset...I'm almost cried honestly,” said Sharon Lidderdale, who lives near the church, “We’ve known quite a few people who’ve gotten married there. It’s just always been a special place, my son used to go to youth group...it’s sad."

Lidderdale says, neighbors are not only disturbed by the graffiti, but that the suspects are teenagers from the same neighborhood. "I'm just shocked," said Lidderdale.

Deputies located a suspect, 19-year-old Matthew Anderson, of Uniontown. He eventually admitted to breaking in and vandalizing the church, according to the police report. Anderson also told investigators he was going to have a party there and posted about it on Snapchat.

He was charged with breaking and entering, vandalism, and contributing to the delinquency of minors. Two other teens, ages 14 and 15, were also arrested and taken to the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center.

The building’s owners and a church pastor told Fox 8 that they aren’t commenting at this time.