Governor Bevin ducks questions from Lawrence Smith (1-31-19)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The president of a Hindu temple hit by vandals is asking Gov. Matt Bevin to visit the site.

There is no word yet on whether Bevin will accept the offer.

Bevin declined to answer questions about the incident during a news conference about a supplies drive for Kentucky's domestic violence shelters Thursday morning. On Twitter, Bevin called the vandalism, "reprehensible and inexcusable."

"Saddened by the reprehensible and inexcusable vandalism that occurred at a Hindu temple in Louisville...In a state & nation that protect and celebrate religious liberty, this is unacceptable...Police investigators are working hard to find the perpetrators...Justice will be served," Bevin tweeted.

But Bevin declined to answer questions about the temple and other matters this morning. After the news conference, he walked away from WDRB's Lawrence Smith, who followed him to his vehicle asking questions. Bevin said he did not want to take attention away from the event he was promoting.

Police say the Swaminarayan Temple on Bardstown Road, near Buechel Bank Road in Louisville, was vandalized sometime between Sunday and Tuesday morning. The vandals sprayed religious messages on the walls and doors. The phrase "foreign b*****s" was also sprayed on a bulletin board, among other things.

Calling it a "cowardly and unacceptable act," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is inviting the public to join his staff at the temple on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help clean up the vandalism and "paint away the hate."

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I cover a range of stories for WDRB, but really enjoy tracking what's going on at our State Capitol. I grew up on military bases all over the world, but am a Kentuckian at heart. I'm an EKU alum, and have lived in Louisville for 30 years.