By Tim Harfmann
The NYPD arrested 34-year-old Michael Gould Wartofsky for an attack on a Brooklyn church, charging him with criminal mischief.
The violence happened before dawn, Sunday November 3 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello is the church’s pastor. He was on his way to Mass when he realized something was wrong.
“I looked on the floor and I saw all the plants were on the floor. I said, ‘we didn’t have a storm last night.’ I said, ‘I wonder what happened.”
That’s when Monsignor Gigantiello checked his security cameras.
“[Gould Wartofsky] actually took the plants, threw them at the rectory door, and started screaming at the camera.”
Monsignor Gigantiello said after that, Gould Wartofsky walked down to the statue of Saint Jude, ripped it off of its pedestal, and dragged it into the street.
Then, he stomped on the statue and left it in the middle of the street.
“A couple of cars went around it, but one guy stopped, got out of his car; and there was someone walking, and the both of them picked up the statue and put it on the pedestal,” said Monsignor Gigantiello.
Despite the attack, Monsignor Gigantiello forgives him.
“We can talk and try to say, ‘why are you so angry at the church?’ and maybe we can make peace,” the Brooklyn pastor said.
Monsignor also wants to acknowledge the passersby who helped.
“If they would just identify themselves, I would like to personally thank them for doing that.”
The statue of Saint Jude cost $5,000 and Monsignor Gigantiello plans on buying a new one.