Broken stained glass among major damage to former Wagner Ford Road church; man charged

Credit: Balduf, Jen (COP-Dayton)

Credit: Balduf, Jen (COP-Dayton)

A man caught early Thursday inside an old church in Harrison Twp. is accused of causing major damage — including breaking out 200-year-old stained glass windows — to one of two apartments.

Kurt Douglas Griggs, 44, of Carlisle, was charged Friday afternoon in Vandalia Municipal Court with felony counts of burglary and vandalism.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies responded around 7:30 a.m. to the residence at 3680 Wagner Ford Road next to Willow View Cemetery after a resident reported seeing a man, later identified as Griggs, throwing bricks at windows, according to an affidavit.

“It was discovered that while inside the residence, Griggs had severely damaged the inside of the residence by breaking windows, equipment, furniture and other property,” the affidavit stated.

The residents of the damaged unit were not home at the time of the break-in, and a security camera showed that the man later identified as Griggs had been at the property since 3 a.m., according to Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office report.

“Small decorative items were thrown out onto the front lawn” and and a deputy also saw “a 1997 tan Lincoln Continental in the parking lot with both windshields and all of the windows smashed. There were cement blocks on the seats inside the Lincoln that appeared to be the cause of the broken windows.”

According to a GoFundMe account, entire rooms were turned upside down and there is no insurance to cover the damages.

Griggs reportedly admitted that he broke in and damaged the inside, according to court documents.

He told deputies he heard a woman screaming inside and that’s why he broke in and that he destroyed the inside when he discovered no one was there, according to a sheriff’s report.

He is held on $50,000 bail in the Montgomery County Jail.

In October, Griggs pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor desecration charge involving the Willow View Cemetery next to the former church. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for 12 days and 78 days suspended and one year of non-reporting probation. He also was ordered to stay away from the cemetery, to complete outpatient treatment and to commit no further crimes, according to a sentencing document.

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