A Rockaway NJ man was placed under arrest after he allegedly vandalized a Connecticut church.
According to officials, a priest at St. Francis Church in Torrington CT found the 33-year-old suspect screaming obscenities while standing in a garden at the church.
When the priest tried to speak with the suspect, he was met with resistance; the suspect reportedly told him that he just wanted to be left alone so that he could pray.
The suspect then allegedly went into the church and pulled a fire alarm, before running through the entire building and causing all manner of destruction, including knocking over candles and statutes, ripping down artwork from the walls, destroying various papers, and overturning plants.
The suspect reportedly caused significant damage to the church during the vandalism spree.
Not long after the incident, church officials contacted local police. When police officers got to the scene, they saw the damage to the building. By the time officers arrived, however, the suspect had already left the area.
Police were able to track down the suspect at the nearby Quality Inn motel, which is located just a short distance from the church.
The suspect was arrested and charged with several crimes, including criminal mischief, desecration of property, and breach of peace.
Although the suspect faces charges in Connecticut, he would be subject to equally serious criminal charges if he was accused of committing the similar offenses in New Jersey. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3, anyone who purposely causes in excess of $2,000 worth of damage to property can be charged with third degree criminal mischief. A conviction for third degree criminal mischief could lead to a sentence of 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
After the suspect was arrested and charged in Connecticut, he was transported to the local county jail. He was being held at the jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
For more information about this case, check out the NJ.com article entitled “N.J. Man Trashes Church After Being Found Screaming in Garden, Report Says.”