Video used as evidence against man charged with hate crimes in US church vandalism

JEFF TURNER

Officers in the US have arrested a man for hate crimes after they say the suspect was caught on video smashing a window at a church before running off.

Video from surveillance cameras at Community Church of Christ in Queens, New York was posted to the police department’s Crime Stoppers twitter account shortly after the damage was reported.

Police say the damage was done Tuesday, March 8.  Video from the church and other evidence, led police to Tonnie Smith, 32, of Queens.  He has been charged with criminal mischief and aggravated harassment. Both are listed as hate crimes in the State of New York.

Criminals smash US church’s stained-glass window, steal altar Bible, cross

Janet Johnson-Tremblay

A congregation in the US has few answers as to why someone would smash stained glass windows and steal the altar Bible and a wooden cross.  The damage was discovered Thursday at the Handsboro United Methodist Church in Mississippi.

“Sad to report that the sanctuary was vandalized.  One of our beautiful stained glass windows was broken and the Bible on the altar and wooden cross Mr. Sam Krohn built were taken.  It is unfortunate that people have the nerve to do such a thing to a church,” says a post to the church’s Facebook page.

Pastor John McCay told MagnoliaStateLive that the items stolen were of, “great sentimental value” to the church. WLOX Television reports a vandal or vandals recently damaged other churches in the area.

Police have yet not determined a motive of the person or persons who damaged the church buildings.

Five church buildings vandalized in same Texas community

William Desjardins

Police in Texas are looking for a man caught on video vandalizing a church building. Officers in the US say the individual may be responsible for five additional criminal acts at buildings belonging to other congregations.

Security cameras caught video of a man inside the Missionary Baptist Church of Hughes Springs, Texas, where offices were ransacked and money set aside for a congregation member’s funeral was stolen. Nearby Turkey Creek Baptist church and New Colony Baptist Church had damage to their buildings that appeared to have happened in a similar manner. Two other churches have been targeted since January.

Police have not said why the vandals targeted specifically church buildings.

Woman arrested for breaking windows, vandalizing graves at US church

David Ingram, Music Director/Reporter

Sheriff’s deputies in the US say they have arrested a woman who broke windows, destroyed church property, and vandalized graves at a church.

Moore County, North Carolina Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a press release that the damage was done on Dec. 29, 2020 at Mount Zion A.M.E. Church in Carthage, North Carolina. When deputies arrived at the church they found damage to multiple grave markers, windows, and other miscellaneous items on the church property. Sheriff Fields said deputies quickly found a person of interest in the area who was subsequently charged in connection with the crimes. 

A sheriff’s office spokesperson has identified the person arrested as Jasmine Shereece Frye, 34, of Carthage, NC. She faces 10 counts of Felony Disturbing Grave Markers, 1 count of misdemeanor injury to real property, and one count of littering.

Jail records show Frye is held on $25,000 US bond.

Shereece is scheduled to appear before a judge on March 3, 2021.

Vandals target 231-year-old California church building with misspelled ‘genocide’ graffiti

Police in Santa Barbara California believe anti-Columbus day sentiment is motive behind vandalism at a church established in 1786.  Someone spray painted “genocide”, smashed a window, and damaged other pieces of church property of the Old Mission Santa Barbara. The Los Angeles Times reports they caused an estimated $25,000 in damage. KYET television published a photo of the damage.

File news reports from the area say the same church was vandalized last year.  Cameras were installed following that attack.  Video from those cameras of this year’s attack is being reviewed by detectives.

The 231-year-old building is home to a community of Franciscan Friars