One man is under arrest after police in Merced identified a suspect in the vandalism of a Catholic church in the city. It comes after a man was seen on surveillance footage using red paint to make red handprints on the church building, as well as surrounding buildings and a statue.
Police say the incident was captured on security cameras on July 4, at around 7:30 a.m., at the church at 671 E. Yosemite Avenue. According to the Diocese of Fresno, it is the site of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Officers were provided with the name of 54-year-old Frank Perez, who was later arrested and booked on charges of hate crimes and vandalizing a church. Investigators also established that the same suspect vandalized Yosemite Church around 20 minutes after the first incident.
In the accompanying police report:
“The suspect vandalized St. Patrick’s Church by painting red hands on the church in protest to the finding of Native American bodies in Catholic sites in Canada…. Officer DeJong was provided with the suspect’s information and contacted him at his residence.
Frank Perez was booked in the Merced County Jail for Hate Crimes and Vandalizing a Church.
“Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact Officer DeJong at 209-769-6263.”
The above comes from a July 5 report on YourCentralValley.com.