Man trashes Valley church, sets fire to holy items
HANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man they say ripped off the front door of a Catholic church in central California and set fire to holy items inside.
Father Mike Lastiri of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church told the Hanford Sentinel that surveillance video shows the man breaking furniture, tearing down fixtures and smashing bottles of sacramental wine on Sunday night. Police estimate he caused thousands of dollars in damage.
Lastiri says the man also set fire to Catholic garments and holy items in the church sacristy.
Police say they found a running vehicle parked in front of the church with its stereo playing loudly. They arrested a 33-year-old man who exited the smoky building.
Police say the man admitted to causing the damage because he was upset with the Vatican.