Two female minors have been arrested for committing a hate crime after reportedly attempting to burn a sign promoting President Donald Trump outside a Maryland store with a car cigarette lighter.
Joy Shuford and D'Asia Perry, both of whom are 19 years of age, were charged with igniting the sign in Princess Anne, Maryland, some 90 miles southeast of Baltimore, on April 14.
Perry was the first suspect to be arrested when authorities identified her in surveillance footage. Shuford subsequently turned herself in to police, DelmarvaNow reports.
According to court documents, Shuford had at first planned to pull the sign down but when she wasn't physically able to do so, she fetched her car cigarette lighter with the intent to set it on fire.
As a result, the two teenagers have been charged with several offenses, such as second-degree arson and undertaking a hate crime, the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said. The Baltimore Sun reports that neither women have attorneys and neither have commented on the story officially.
"The intentional burning of these political signs, along with the beliefs, religious views and race of this political affiliation, directly coincides with the victim," read the Princess Anne police documents on why the police officers believe a hate crime had been committed.
The deputy chief fire marshal supported the police's position, reports The Baltimore Sun, by stating they identified the motive as "discrimination or malice toward a particular group, or someone's belief."
The two minors were released after coming up with a $20,000 bond. The sign in question was located near a shopping center, and the fire from the act of vandalism spread to a nearby field, which reportedly caused roughly $800 in damage.
Jamie Wink, the son of the store owner that was responsible for the sign said they put it up to draw attention. Wink informed the paper that his family voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election and had decided not to take down the sign, which had been up since September 2016.
The Baltimore Sun reports that he also said the sign had been set ablaze once before and actually stolen twice, and has been the subject of numerous "selfies" along the way. He has no plans to take the sign down
The Wink store sells hunting gear and guns.
If found guilty, Shuford and Perry could be locked up for a maximum of 33 years and be fined more than $40,000.