By Tim Harfmann
Broken pieces are what’s left after two statues were destroyed outside Our Lady of Consolation Church in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The shattered, sacred statues were discovered before Sunday Masses on December 2nd.
“Our pastor discovered our statues were broken, and we started to find out what happened,” said Father Andrzej Wasko. He ministers at the Williamsburg church.
The NYPD is looking for the person caught on surveillance video. The individual urinated on the statues before pushing them off their platforms, shattering to the ground. The suspect is described as a 30-year-old male with brown hair, around six-feet-tall and 190 lbs. He was last seen wearing beige pants and a dark pea coat. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Williamsburg residents were outraged. “What was he thinking? That shouldn’t be tolerated at any time in this day in age,” said Daniel Rivera. “It’s very disrespectful and it’s terrible. He may not be a churchgoer, but it’s totally disrespectful,” said Joan Chew.
The Williamsburg neighborhood is known for its nightlife. “It seems to be happening now more often than before. Although not too frequent, but it’s growing,” said Rivera. “Most of the people have been friendly, so I don’t think it’s a problem in the neighborhood. I can’t imagine what causes this vandalism to be honest,” said Chew.
This is the latest incident at Our Lady of Consolation Church, located on Metropolitan Avenue between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street. Surveillance video from December 2016 showed men climbing the platform outside the church, knocking religious statues to the ground and destroying them.
Despite the hateful act, Father Wasko had compassion. “Forgive and prayer? Yes, sure. I hope there will be no more, not again. No more,” said the Brooklyn priest.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call CRIMESTOPPER at 800-577-TIPS or text their tip to CRIMES, then enter TIP577.