Ali Alaheri, 29, was charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime.READ MORE: Nearly 200 People To Be Released From Rikers Friday After Gov. Hochul Signs 'Less Is More Act,' Calls N.Y.'s Incarceration Rate 'A Point Of Shame'
Police said Alaheri knocked down and destroyed a large crucifix statue outside St. Athanasius Church in Bensonhurst.
Alaheri is also accused of burning an American flag outside the rectory.
A pastor discovered the damage on May 14.
“It was a terrible morning. It was probably the saddest day in my life, to see this desecration of a cross of Jesus and the desecration of the flag,” Monsignor David Cassato told CBS2 the day it happened.
Parishioners gathered in prayer that night and used a crucifix from one of their classrooms as a temporary replacement outside the church.READ MORE: Dozens Protest For Climate Change Awareness Before UN General Assembly
The crucifix that was destroyed stood for 11 years.
The Department of Justice says on Wednesday, Alaheri deliberately set fire to a yeshiva and synagogue on 36th Street in Brooklyn.
Surveillance video allegedly shows Alaheri piling garbage bags against the side of the building and lighting them on fire.
Firefighters responded to a fire alarm and extinguished the flames.
Later that same day, Alaheri also allegedly attacked a man wearing traditional Hasidic garb.MORE NEWS: Body Cam Video Shows Aftermath Of Argument Between Gabby Petito, Fiancé Weeks Before Her Last Call To Family
He was arrested in Dobbs Ferry on Friday.