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Authorities check vandalism against separatist in Leith

 LEITH — Authorities said Sunday they are investigating a vandalism complaint reported by a white separatist who is trying to turn the small North Dakota town of Leith into an Aryan enclave.

Craig Cobb, who has bought property in the town with the hope of attracting others with his beliefs, said some people spray painted two vehicles, slashed five tires and put paint on a religious building called the Creativity Cathedral. The vandalism was carried out by some intoxicated people about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, he said.

“It's certainly a hate crime” because people in the area know he's a member of the Creativity religion, Cobb said.

Grant County Deputy Sheriff John Foss confirmed that Cobb had called in a report of the vandalism.

“It's under investigation right now,” Foss said Sunday.

Community members have mobilized to fight Cobb's plan to turn the town 60 miles southwest of Bismarck into a white enclave.

The city recently approved an ordinance requiring running water and sewer service in occupied homes, a move Cobb has said unfairly targets him. He has said he will make changes to his home to comply, but will pursue a civil rights complaint with the state.

Officials said the ordinances do not amount to discrimination because they were imposed for health and safety reasons and apply to everybody in the city.