NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is on the lookout for a man they say vandalized several statues at a downtown church last week.
Police released surveillance video of the alleged incident, depicting an unidentified individual jumping over the fence and hurling three statues at a statue of the Virgin Mary at Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in SoHo.
Father Mario Julian watched the video, and tells 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern that police have to find the man because he’s violent.
Surveillance Video Below
“He just picked up those statues and flung them at the Blessed Mother,” he said. “Broke them, jumped over the fence, and walked away like nothing happened.
The three statues outside the historic church on the corner of Sullivan Street and West Houston Street represent three children which, according to Church teachings, saw the Virgin Mary appear in Fatima.
“I feel sorry for the person,” a worshipper named Layla tells 1010 WINS. “They don’t have respect for not just certainly religious statues but anything that’s beautiful in New York.”
The church has been featured in many famous films, including the Godfather Part II.
All four of the statues sustained damage which Fr. Julian said earlier this week could cost upwards of $10,000 to repair — funds the church currently does not have, CBS2 reported.
He said he’s hopeful that worshippers will step up.
The suspect was last seen heading westbound on Houston.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.