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Suspect Told Police He Vandalized Church Because He Was Intoxicated

Mugshots of Tyler Price and Gregory Silvey of Bloomington.

Tyler Price, 25, (left) and Gregory Silvey, 25, both of Bloomington. (Courtesy of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

Court documents say one of the men accused of vandalizing an Ellettsville church admitted to painting some of the graffiti and told police he did so because he was intoxicated.

Gregory Silvey and Tyler Price face felony charges of criminal mischief and criminal trespass after police say they spent about two hours spray painting the entire outside of the Old Dutch Church Sept. 2. The vandalism included at least one racial slur and the phrase, "Hitler did nothing wrong."

Charging documents say the public played a crucial role in helping police track the suspects down. Surveillance cameras at the church captured video of the suspects, as well as the Ford Taurus they arrived in. The Monroe County Sheriff's Department shared the images on Facebook and received several tips identifying the men.  

According to court documents, a man contacted police Sept. 4 saying he could identify Price because he lived in a trailer on his property. The man told police Price drives an older Ford Taurus that had purple spray paint on its side. He also said he saw Price spray painting symbols on trees on his property with some of the same designs that appeared on the Old Dutch Church. 

Shortly after, the Monroe County Sheriff's deputy received another phone call from a Bloomington Police Department officer. Court documents say that officer also identified one of the suspects in the surveillance footage as Price and said she's interacted with him on Aug. 31. The officer said Price was advised of criminal trespass at Bloomington's Kohl's store because he was suspected of spray painting the business. 

Monroe County deputies pulled Price over later that day when he passed them with a headlight out. Court documents say Price declined to speak with police after they took him into custody, but the found 12 cans of spray paint in the trunk of his car. 

Court documents say police also received several tips identifying Silvey as the other suspect in the footage. Silvey's mother called the Monroe County Sheriff's Department on Sept. 5 saying her son wanted to turn himself in. 

During an interview at the Sheriff's Department later that day, court documents say Silvey admitted to spray painting several phrases, including "666 welcome" and "Hitler did nothing wrong." He told police Price also did some of the painting. 

Silvey told police he initially thought the church was abandoned, but realized it wasn't when he noticed the security cameras. When police asked Silvey why he vandalized the church, he reportedly told them it was because he was intoxicated. 

Price appeared in court for his initial hearing Friday, where the court appointed a public defender. 

Silvey was supposed to appear in court for the first time Monday, but he waived his initial hearing. 

Church officials say the vandalism caused more than $3,000 worth of damage. 

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