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Indio church hit with graffiti

By Samantha Cortese, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, samantha.cortese@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Dec 27 2013 02:41:39 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 27 2013 08:16:21 PM CST

Samantha Cortese has the story.

INDIO, Calif. -- -

It's not exactly the message of hope that Destiny Church in Indio hopes to see outside its doors... Graffiti, tagged on every wall of the building, located in a small lot off Avenue 42 and Jackson.

Pastor Obed Martinez was enjoying a bike ride when he got the phone call.

"My first reaction was, I felt really sorry for the person that did it," Martinez says, "because people who do things like this usually do it out of pain or out of hurt it's more out of revenge."

Tagging has never been a problem there before. Just feet away, the church has a wall where members of the youth program can graffiti legally.

The culprit, Martinez says, should really take a step inside the building he or she defaced.

"We would just like to know who it is and really extend grace because it's not really what this person did, it's really an inward problem of an outward expression of what this person did."

Assistant Pastor Mike Harlan says investigators suspect gang activity, and a specialist can look at the tag and know the relation it has to the gang community, if at all.

The City of Indio will cover the cost of removing the paint. After all, the church gave more than 22 thousand hours of community service to the city of Indio in 2013.

"This is the season of giving and forgiving, and we'd really like to forgive this person," Martinez says with a smile.

Destiny Church is located at 82-625 Showcase Pkwy in Indio. Find them at www.DestinyChurch.tv.

Find more at www.twitter.com/SamanthaCortese.