Two downstate men have been charged with spray painting racist graffiti on two Cape Henlopen High School buses and other vehicles and locations in the Lewes area of coastal Sussex County early Monday, state police said.
Besides the Cape Henlopen buses, the men were also charged with the graffiti found on cars at the Boulevard Cars dealership on Coastal Highway, a private vehicle in Heritage Village, and a forklift and office trailer behind Midway movie theater, police said.
Surveillance images of a white Buick, which had been stopped by Lewes police about 2 a.m. Monday, led police to the suspects, state police said. Zachary J. Baughman, 19, of Lincoln, and his passenger, Steven T. Swain, 22, of Harrington, were charged with five counts of graffiti and third-degree conspiracy.
The men surrendered at Troop 7 in Lewes on Monday night and were arraigned in Justice of the Peace court and released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
Cape Henlopen Superintendent Robert Fulton condemned the racist graffiti.
“We find this type of behavior to be reprehensible and it does not in any way reflect the views of our district,” Fulton said in a written statement.
The incident involving the school buses comes less than two weeks after two students at Caesar Rodney High, in Kent County near Dover, were suspended for posting a photo on social media of the school mascot holding a sign with a racist slur. Police investigated but did not file charges against the two students. The school principal said she was moving to expel them.