UPDATED: February 26, 2018 (5:17 PM)
UPDATE: POLICE HAVE ARRESTED A SUSPECT IN CONNECTION WITH VANDALISM AT AMERICAN MARTYRS CHURCH IN QUEENS. CONTACT THE NYPD FOR MORE INFORMATION.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2018
HATE CRIME OFFICERS ARE INVESTIGATING VANDALISM AT QUEENS CHURCH
On Friday February 23, just after 6 p.m., surveillance cameras outside American Martyrs Church in Oakland Gardens, Queens captured a man vandalizing two religious statues. A Blessed Mother statue was dragged 25 feet from its base and smashed. The shell of a Sacred Heart of Jesus statue was thrown down a flight of steps leading to the rectory basement. NYPD officers were called to the scene and continue to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
This is not the first time American Martyrs Church, located at 79-43 Bell Blvd, has been targeted by vandals. In December, someone bent back the fingers of a statue of St. Isaac Jogues in the church’s prayer garden. In October, damage to a Bingo sign was discovered. In August, a man threw a brick through the windows of the church doors. That crime was also caught on camera and police arrested the alleged vandal.
An interview with the church’s pastor, surveillance video of the crime, and access to the damaged statues will be made available between 2:00 and 3:00pm. Media interested should contact Adriana Rodriguez at 516-238-7565.