A homeless man in Phoenix is behind bars after he reportedly walked into a church and smashed century-old statues.
Phoenix police said Devon Thomas, 35, entered the St. Mary’s Basilica and trashed the relics.
“It’s hard on the emotions,” said Rev. Michael Weldon.
A religious display featuring a cross, a statue of the Virgin Mary and an angel, nearly 130-years-old, were all smashed.
“I preached on it yesterday. And after the mass, the people came over and knelt and many of them were weeping,” Weldon said.
Police said Thomas entered the church Saturday, disturbing the sanctuary and destroying the relics.
“I don’t know that our staff actually held him down, but they surrounded him at least until the police got there,” Weldon said.
Thomas hit a church employee when she tried to stop him and Phoenix police said he’s now facing charges.
“He was booked into jail on aggravated criminal damage and assault,” said Sgt. Vince Lewis, Phoenix Police Department.
But staff at St. Mary’s hope that some good might be able to come out of all of this bad.
“In the streets of Phoenix are so many mentally ill and addicted and folks with both. And it only says that we’re not caring for people enough,” Weldon said. “It’s about people, not statues.”
The church will keep its doors unlocked and its arms wide open.
Weldon said the church hasn’t made plans yet to fix the broken statues.
Source: WSFA 12 News
Photo Credit: WIBW News Now!
Photo Credit: The Tribune-Democrat
Video: Daily Independent News