SAN GABRIEL (CBSLA) — The figure of a revered Roman Catholic saint was vandalized in San Gabriel Friday, and police say they have the perpetrator on tape.
The bronze statue of Father Junipero Serra that stands outside the San Gabriel Mission Church was found with red paint dripping down the friar’s chest Friday morning.READ MORE: Hundreds Line Streets Outside Van Nuys Post Office For Passport Fair
This was apparently “plan b” for the culprit, who initially attempted to cut off the statue’s head with what police believe to be a reciprocating saw, based on surveillance video at the church.
The suspect is described as 5-foot-7, 130 to 140 pounds, who was wearing a black hoodie and black pants at the time of the crime.
This is the latest act of vandalism against a likeness of the Spanish priest canonized by the Pope in 2015 amid controversy.
Serra, who founded nine of the original 21 Roman Catholic missions in California, is seen by many as a murderer who used and treated the indigenous peoples in the state inhumanely, as the Roman Catholic church proselytized across the American West centuries ago.READ MORE: Fullerton PD Detectives Seeking Public Assistance In Sunday Morning Homicide
Father Manuel Antonio “Tony” Diaz, the pastor at the San Gabriel Mission, told CBS2 News, simply, “It happens,” calling it a misinterpretation of history.
Father Tony said it will cost about $3000 to repair the bronze statue.
In August, the statue of Serra in Mission Hills was similarly vandalized with red paint, with the word “murder” spelled out in white down the father’s robe.
Another figure was beheaded in Santa Barbara in September.MORE NEWS: Jonatan Jose Medina-Mejia Arrested By Huntington Beach PD For Series Of Alleged Burglaries
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