Wheelchair suspect charged in church vandalism

The suspect in the vandalism of a Maple Grove church has been formally charged in Hennepin County Fourth District Court.

Lonny Lloyd Roseland, 45, of Maple Grove has been charged with two counts. The first is third degree damage to property- bias, which has a maximum sentence up to a year imprisonment and/or a $3,000 fine. The second is disorderly conduct- offense/abusive/noisy/obscene, which has a maximum sentence of 90 days imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, on June 2, around 9:30 a.m. Maple Grove Police received a report of vandalism at Pilgrims United Church, 8801 Rice Lake Road. A church employee reported that eggs had been thrown at the front of the church as well as graffiti written on the church. The words “Church of Sodom” and “Church of Gomorrah Lev 18:2” were written in black marker.

The complaint stated the church pastor said the bible verse is meant to be against homosexuals.

On June 8, a Maple Grove Police officer doing extra patrol at the church and observed more writing on the church. The words “Romans 1:26-28” were written on the church.

The complaint also stated on June 30 around 9:30 a.m. a report of vandalism was received by police. Once again eggs were thrown at the church and handcuffs were placed on the handles of the door to the main entrance of the church, prohibiting people from entering the church. Graffiti was also found on the building, reading “Gay Pride? No! Shameful Sodomites! Jude 7. Love cult! Matt 7:21-23.”

Maple Grove Police placed a security camera outside the church July 26.

On July 28, the church was vandalized again with eggs and graffiti. A Maple Grove Police Detective reviewing the surveillance video observed a male in a wheelchair going up the church and throwing several eggs at the front entrance.

According to the complaint, on July 29 a Maple Grove Police Officer and Detective conducted a neighborhood canvas around the church showing the suspect’s photography from the surveillance video to the public. The complaint said, “Officers found a juvenile male who stated that he recognized the suspect as an individual who resided [nearby].”  The officer and detective went to the address and knocked on the door. The male, using crutches, invited the officers into his home.

The complaint states that Roseland refers to the church as a “cult” and not a church. Roseland admitted to vandalizing the church with colored crayons and eggs. According to the complaint, “Mr. Roseland stated that the Pilgrim Church should ‘go to hell for what they believe in.’ ” Roseland also said he had a bias toward gay marriage, towards the church because they support gay marriage, and that gays should stay in Minneapolis and St. Paul and as long as gay people stay the closet, all is fine.


Contact Alicia Miller at [email protected]