NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A religious symbol was the target of vandals in one Brooklyn neighborhood.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, Father Edward Doran of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn Heights walked out of his rectory door Friday morning to find a statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus knocked over in the garden.
“It’s rather distressing to see such an important religious symbol treated so very, very disrespectfully,” Doran said.
Doran said he immediately called police, who are now investigating the act of vandalism as a case of criminal mischief.
In surveillance video taken around 2:15 a.m. Friday, two men can be seen walking past the gate on Sidney Place and then doubling back. One man opens the gate and forcibly pushes the statue of Mary over, breaking it from its cement base, while the other man stands outside the gate holding his phone up.
“I would like to speak to them, educate them about religious symbolism of any religion really,” Doran said.
Neighbors said they can’t believe the incident took place on their quiet block.
“It was quite upsetting when I heard it from Father Doran,” said Ginny Perrim.
“It’s fairly concerning … because it’s happening in an area that’s so highly residential,” said Body Becker. “I’m afraid they might, like — what’s next?”
The church commissioned the bronze statue from France in 1964. The statue wsa not ruined, but the estimated cost of the damage is $2,000 to $6,000 dollars.
Doran is planning to do some extra fundraising to pay for the repairs.
He said he hopes the men come forward and change their ways.
“I hope this is just one piece of abhorrent behavior and not a pattern that will develop in the future,” Doran said.
Police are asking anyone with information about the suspects or the incident to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477 or to submit a tip online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com. All communications are kept confidential.