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Texas Teen ‘Vampires’ Go On Rampage

March 7, 1998

DALLAS (AP) _ Four teen-agers claiming to be vampires went on a drug-crazed rampage, vandalizing dozens of cars and homes, spray-painting racial slurs and burning a church, police say.

Fascinated by the occult, the teens smoked methamphetamine-laced marijuana before going on a spree through the quiet middle-class neighborhood and causing $300,000 in damage, according to police.

``I expected it to be messed-up kids. But this was really bad,″ said Elwin Setliff, one of the dozens of vandalism victims.

The fire early Thursday destroyed the office and fellowship hall at Bethany Lutheran Church. Its outside walls were scrawled with satanic graffiti in hot pink and white paint.

``My sadness is not for us. It is for those people who don’t know the joy of life,″ said pastor Carol Spencer, whose church is in the mostly white, middle-class suburb of Lake Highlands.

More than a dozen other residents had car tires slashed, windows broken and racial slurs spray-painted on doors and walls. An elementary school also was hit with graffiti.

An acid used to treat swimming pools was spread on cars.

The Dallas Morning News reported that one teen told detectives he and the others were vampires. The teen-agers had marks on their arms from sucking each other’s blood, the newspaper reported.

Evidence from the fire quickly led authorities to the nearby home of a 16-year-old boy, who was not identified because he is a juvenile.

He and the others _ Lucas Charles Simms, 17, Brandon Lee Ramsey, 20, and Charles Randal Kinnard, 19 _ were arrested on arson charges.

Simms was released on a $4,500 bond. Ramsey, Kinnard and the juvenile remained in custody.

Dallas police arson Capt. Don Howard said the teens admitted lacing crystal methamphetamine with marijuana before the vandalism. He said they used Molotov cocktails and several gallons of gasoline to light the church.

Resident Jerry Hejl found all tires punctured on his three vehicles and rocks thrown through two windshields, along with racial slurs and the words ``2 Foot Bong Krew″ spray-painted on a mobile home.

Before their arrest, some of the teens sat in lawn chairs on top of a carport and watched as investigators went through the ruins of the church Thursday, said Deputy Fire Chief Tom Oney.

``It appeared to me that they were savoring the fruits of the damage,″ he said. ``They were enjoying watching us look at it.″