News (USA)

Grand jury charges four Texas teens with felony graffiti in anti-gay crime spree

FORT WORTH, Texas — A grand jury on Monday indicted four teens who stand accused of writing anti-gay slurs and other vulgar messages on vehicles and homes in an Arlington, Texas neighborhood earlier this year.

Tarrant County grand jurors returned the indictments of felonious graffiti causing $1,500 to $20,000 in damages against John Austin Cartwright, 17, Seth Stephen Hatcher, 18, and Morgen Rae Aubuchon, 18, all of Arlington. Daniel Damian Sibley, 18, of Fort Worth, was also indicted.

One of the targeted vehicles was at the home of a family of a same-sex couple.
The back of the couple’s car included a sticker of two moms, a child, and a dog.

According to court records, the June 10 case involved at least 13 criminal mischief incidents near the 1100 block of Crowley Road in Arlington. All of the defendants now are awaiting trial(s).

A fifth teen, a 16-year-old girl, surrendered to Arlington Police investigators and was turned over to juvenile authorities. She was not identified because she is a juvenile and the status of the juvenile charges against her was unavailable as of Monday.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that home surveillance cameras caught the teens in the act, according to Arlington police. Police are treating the case as a hate crime.

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A video shows the teens spray-painting property, and another video shows a vehicle that police believe the teens had used that morning, police said.

Authorities have said that some of the teens lived in the neighborhood, but that investigators did not have evidence that they knew their victims.

Police said they believe that at least one house was targeted because a lesbian couple lives there. The other graffiti painted in the northwest Arlington neighborhood included racial slurs, hateful messages and derogatory images.

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