On Sunday, November 28, at about 9 a.m. Westmoreland County police were called to respond to a report of arson at the Maranatha Baptist Church located on Stoney Knoll in Colonial Beach, Virginia.
A review of surveillance footage revealed that a man had set a wreath that was hanging on the church’s front door on fire. The blaze not only damaged the door, but it spread and also damaged the siding on the building.
Police determined that the suspect left the scene of incident on foot heading toward Hall’s Supermarket, which is about half a mile away from the church. Police reviewed additional footage that showed after suspect arrived at the store, he left in a white van.
Westmoreland deputies canvassed the area and found the van in question in the Westmoreland Shores subdivision, and at about 11 a.m., they arrested Emmanuel O. Nastalon, a 26-year-old listed as a resident of Fairfax, VA. According to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office, the arrest was conducted without incident.
Nastalon was charged with one felony count of arson of an unoccupied church and one felony count of intentional damage of a church, and was being held without bond, according to the Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O Balderson’s November 29 Facebook post. Nastalon’s first court appearance had been scheduled but wasn’t revealed.
The sheriff deemed the handling of this case “excellent work” and he credited the “efficient and effective efforts” of master deputy Antwan X. Smith, Deputy Abbey Sercombe and Master Detective Phillip Cusick.