Police: British Navy lieutenant throws door through Virginia church window

Posted at 12:19 PM, Aug 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-06 14:47:12-04

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WTVR) – A second lieutenant in the Royal British Navy is being held in a Virginia jail following an incident inside a church.

Fredericksburg police were looking for a suspect in an unrelated crime early Saturday morning when they heard glass breaking inside Fredericksburg Baptist Church on Princess Anne St., according to an email from Fredericksburg Police Department Public Information Officer Natatia Bledsoe. Officers then saw a door come flying through one of the church’s stain-glassed windows.

As police set-up a perimeter, they said a man exited the church. That man, later identified as Edmund Whitehead, 22, was taken into custody.

“He was highly intoxicated,” Bledsoe said. She added the suspect had been drinking with a larger group at an area bar.

Police said while in custody, Whitehead, a second lieutenant in the Royal British Navy and currently deployed to Quantico,  spit on one of the officers.

Inside the church, police found two damaged stained glass windows and one damaged door.

“We are disappointed that the incident occurred,” Church Administrator Dennis Sacrey wrote in an email to CBS 6. “We are appreciative that the perpetrator has expressed remorse and has indicated his intent to reimburse the church fully for the cost of repairs.”

Whitehead is charged with burglary, destruction of property, and assault on law enforcement.