Vandal desecrates Ave. P crucifix - Paint is
found splattered outside Three Hierarchs Church- Brooklyn, N.Y.
By Tom Tracy
Cops are looking for the vandal who splashed
beige paint on an ornate cross standing proudly
outside of Three Hierarchs Church on Tuesday.
As of this writing, the vandal was being sought
for committing a possible bias crime against the
church located near the corner of Avenue P and East 17th Street in Midwood.
Workers at the Greek Orthodox house of worship
told police that they spotted the damage as soon
as they opened up the church Tuesday morning.
The stain had to remain on the cross until
members of the NYPDs Hate Crimes Task Force could catalogue the vandalism.
The vandalized cross was just inside the front
gate, standing before a banner that read Three
Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church: Knowing, Loving and Serving Gods People.
The paint covered the left side of the cross and
dripped down to its base. Nothing else appeared
to be damaged, according to authorities.
We are very upset, a congregant answering
phones at the church said Tuesday afternoon, just
a few minutes after they were given permission to
remove the paint from the cross, which they said
has welcomed parishioners entering the church for
over 20 years. This wasnt an accident, this was a hate crime.
Congregants said that this is the first time in
recent memory that the church had been vandalized.
Captain Vincent Stella, the commanding officer of
the 61st Precinct, said that the vandalism is
currently being investigated as a possible bias
crime although no anti-religious remarks or symbols were found.
But thats just based on the fact that this
happened at a house of worship, Stella said. In
the end, its the Hate Crime Task Forces call.
Vandalism that singles out any religious or
ethnic group is especially deplorable and cannot
be tolerated, said State Senator Carl Kruger,
who joined Captain Stella at Three Hierarchs
Church to look over the damage. It would be easy
to push this aside as a simple act of vandalism
perpetuated by a bored or ignorant individual,
but that would not be the right thing to do. Our
houses of worship are sacred and must be protected from acts such as this.
Cops are asking anyone with information regarding
this incident to call CrimeStoppers at (800)
577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
©Courier-Life Publications 2007