Woman, teen arrested for church vandalism

Montcalm County

BLOOMER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 54-year-old woman and 14-year-old boy were arrested for allegedly vandalizing a church and school near Carson City and targeting congregation members’ homes and cars.

Police say the pair targeted the church for its beliefs, but it’s unclear exactly what their grudge was.

It happened Halloween night. Michigan State Police Lt. Christian Clute said 54-year-old Anna Morris spray-painted buildings, signs and church vans at the nondenominational Church at Carson City Fish Creek School on Garlock Road in Bloomer Township.

“Some rather vulgar sayings had been spray-painted on the church,” Clute told 24 Hour News 8. “I know that the comments that were made were antireligious comments and some derogatory comments about Jesus and God.”

“I’ve seen vandalizing like this in the past before,” he added. “I haven’t seen any personally directed at the church, so that’s a little bit unusual.”

Some members of the church also found spray paint on their personal vehicles and homes.

Surveillance video led police to Morris and the 14-year-old. Police aren’t releasing his name because he’s a minor.

“My understanding is that she (Morris) was caring for the 14-year-old. He was living with her,” Clute said. “Obviously, we had concerns about that so we’ve made a referral with the Children’s Protective Services.”

Church leaders are being tight-lipped, too. Nobody would talk on camera Wednesday about what happened or explain the relationship between Morris, the teenager and the church.  

“Other than being angry with the church, I’m not sure what her connections with the church were,” Clute said.

Morris has been charged with two felony counts of malicious destruction of a building and one misdemeanor count of destruction of property. If convicted, she could serve up to five years in prison.

24 Hour News 8 went to her Carson City home Wednesday seeking comment, but no one answered the door.

The church released the following statement:

“We are very pleased with the quick response of the Michigan State Police (specifically Trooper Hickey) and the work of our church’s safety and security team to be able to find out who committed the acts of vandalism. We understand arrests have been made and will leave this in the hands of the authorities to handle as we do not wish to interfere with the investigation. We also would like to thank the community for their support during this difficult situation. Thank you.”

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