A woman destroyed two religious statues outside a Queens church, tossing them into the street in a caught-on-video rampage — the latest in a series of disturbing religious desecrations in New York City.
"It is heartbreaking, but sadly it is becoming more and more common these days," Father Frank Schwarz, Pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church, said in a statement, the New York Post reported.
"I pray that this recent rash of attacks against Catholic churches and all houses of worship will end, and religious tolerance may become more a part of our society."
In the early Saturday incident, surveillance video showed a hammer-wielding woman hop over a low barrier and shake the statues loose from their base.
The video shows the woman then throwing the figures — one of the Blessed Mother and another of St. Therese the Little Flower — onto the sidewalk and then onto a street running in front of the church.
It also shows her hammering, stomping, and spitting at the statues.
The Diocese of Brooklyn officials and police said the same woman is wanted for previously knocking over both statues, the Post reported. Neither were damaged in that episode.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Unit and the 112th Precinct are investigating the vandalism.
The statues had been outside the church since 1937, the pastor said.
"Both of these statues have stood in front of the church since it was built," he said, the New York Post reported.
Schwarz said a retired pastor at the church notified him overnight about the destruction and called 911.
"Clearly, there was a rage. She deliberately went and destroyed these things," he said, the news outlet reported. "I think she’s probably more in need of prayers than anything else."
Schwarz also lamented that vandalization of places of worship has become "much more commonplace" of late, the news outlet reported.
"It seems to be targeted, but these things have become much more commonplace, not just against Catholic churches, but against synagogues and mosques. These things have been disturbingly much more commonplace and I don’t know how to respond to that."
The New York Police Department is also investigating the brutal attack of a Jewish man on his way to worship at a Brooklyn synagogue as a hate crime.
The report comes after the Flatbush Shomrim, an Orthodox Jewish volunteer civilian group, released video footage Friday on Twitter of two suspects in hoods and masks jumping the man and beating him for about 10 seconds before running away.
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