GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla -- A criminal investigation was started in Clay County after reports of a possible hate crime.
An African American Jacksonville attorney got a call one of his billboards in being egged. And it was all caught on camera.
Pastor by passion, but attorney by trade, A. Wellington Barlow was hoping to drum up business so he placed a billboard on Highway 17 in Green Cove Springs. It didn't take long for him to get the impression he wasn't wanting.
"I heard that the sign is being damaged. And dry egg is defacing the property," Barlow told Action News exclusively.
Surveillance video from a nearby business caught the eggings on camera -- the first Saturday night and then again Monday evening. That's when the business owner notified Barlow of what had happened.
The video is grainy. It's impossible to make out faces. But in it, you can see several people walk up from next door and make what appears to be a throwing motion. They approached from the area of The Rehab Saloon. So Action News paid the bar a visit.
Manager Curtis Judy says he had no idea eggs were thrown until a sheriff's deputy came to investigate.
"I let the cop come back here and watch the cameras," Judy said. "He says someone was throwing from like the garbage can and I was like you can see the garbage can from the camera."
Barlow says if the culprits do frequent this establishment -- referred to as a biker bar -- he wants them to realize while his skin color may be different, they share the same past time -- he's a biker too.
"Its like a fraternity to us and race really doesn't matter," Barlow said. "We speak to each other on the highway we stop and help each other irrespective of the race and I just want these guys to know that that sign that's being defaced is owned by a biker."
And Judy says now that he's aware, its not something he will tolerate.
"That's it. I ain't gonna have that. I don't want the negative brought back here," he said.
Barlow says the official charge the vandals face is criminal mischief. He says if the damage is over a certain amount it could become a felony charge.