A masked intruder systematically shattered dozens of windows and doors so violently the mullions cracked and broke in the public buildings at King Family Vineyards Friday, November 17. Onsite cameras established the time as between 1 and 1:30 a.m.
The family alerted the public via social media, prompting an outpouring of community support as well as speculation about who might have done the damage and possible motives. The Kings asked any neighbors within a mile or so radius to check their CCTV or surveillance system footage history between midnight and 2 a.m. on that night. As of the Gazette’s publication time, the vandal, who appeared to be alone, has not been identified. Images of the masked intruder can be found on the King Family Vineyards Facebook page.
In a letter, the family said they couldn’t provide any updates while the case is under investigation. They asked that anyone with any knowledge to direct information to local law enforcement by calling or emailing Albemarle Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000 or [email protected].
The Kings told supporters that the attack left them shocked and heartbroken, but they felt uplifted by the many words and acts of kindness from friends, patrons and neighbors. “In these trying times, the compassion and support from our community have been the silver lining,” they wrote. The business community responded, too. With the help of Dodson Glass & Mirror, the family was able to clean up and repair the windows and doors in time for a scheduled event at the vineyard the evening of the vandalism.
The expense will be reimbursed by insurance, but the Kings expressed their sadness at a greater loss: the loss of a sense of safety and peace for their families in their homes, a loss they predict will be temporary. “Despite this, we remain hopeful and resilient,” the letter said. “The actions of one individual cannot take away our optimism and determination to move forward. We have cleaned up, will make all necessary repairs, and continue to welcome guests from near and far, because at the heart of it, this is a place of warmth and hospitality.”
The Kings invited the many patrons and neighbors who asked how they could help to patronize the vineyard, not just for the economic boost, but to strengthen the bonds of community. Their supporters listened, and recent events at the vineyard have had capacity crowds.
The family is offering a $10,000 reward for information that results in the conviction of the vandal. The vineyard has scheduled a number of events during the holiday season. Find them at kingfamilyvineyards.com., or on the family’s Facebook page.