A woman has been accused of vandalizing a North Dakota church building while topless and barefoot, allegedly damaging a statue of Jesus in the process, according to authorities.
Brittney Marie Reynolds, 35, allegedly broke into St. Mary’s Cathedral of Fargo on Tuesday evening and vandalized a statue of Jesus before police arrested her fleeing the scene.
Reynolds was held at Cass County Jail and made her first court appearance on Wednesday, with officials also accusing her of assaulting staff at Essentia Health Emergency Room, reported Valley News Live/Gray News.
The estimated cost of the damage comes out to $11,500, according to Fargo police.
Paul Braun, the director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, told The Christian Post that the statue, “Christ in Death,” was located at the Cathedral’s southside entrance.
“We hope the suspect in this incident gets the help she apparently needs, and we are praying for her well-being,” Braun said.
Braun told CP that the cathedral is located near homeless shelters and a hospital, and that oftentimes people will enter the building to “warm up,” noting their “doors are open to all during the day.”
This was also not the first time that St. Mary’s has been the subject of vandalism, noted Braun, as they “have had a few recent incidents of vandalism.”
“A man came in off the street and security cameras showed him ascending the altar, sitting in the bishop’s chair, and knocking a marble crucifix off of the altar and onto the floor. He was charged,” he said.
“Another incident involved a young woman who had previous run-ins with authorities. She spray-painted our statue of Jesus located outside the Cathedral with black paint. She was detained and sent for medical and mental evaluation.”
Not all efforts to damage statues have been successful, as a man in Mexico recently found out when he allegedly attempted to steal a statue of St. Michael the Archangel.
According a report translated by the Catholic News Agency, 32-year-old Carlos Alonso allegedly went to Christ the King Parish of Monterrey earlier this month to rob the church while intoxicated.
However, as he tried to get away, he tripped and landed on the sword that the St. Michael statue was holding, cutting his neck and requiring him to be hospitalized before being handed over to authorities.
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