Mother Mary statue vandalized, police search for suspect

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Early Wednesday morning, someone pushed over the Virgin Mary statue at a Catholic church in West Scranton, breaking off her head.

A neighbor’s security cameras recorded the whole thing. Volunteers spent the morning picking up the pieces and reassembling the statue. The church music director says the act was deeply offensive and it’s not the first time.

“I was called this morning by one of our secretaries. She told me what happened. I drove up in disbelief and disgust, in awe,” music director Jim Morock said.

The Scranton Police Department is looking for the person who vandalized the statue of the Blessed Mother at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
It happened around 3:30 Wednesday morning. Just a few hours later parishioners arriving for Mass found the statue on the ground in pieces.

“She was just laying here, half of her back and neck was off, and when I came back about an hour later our Deacon Carmine Mendicino had glue and put her back together,” Morock said.

Security cameras at the church captured images of the suspect. But across the street, a neighbor’s cameras had a clearer view.

The suspect in a black hoodie grabs the statue by the head and pulls her to the ground. Then he takes his time leaving the scene. Next-door neighbor Bill Jurbala says it’s baffling.

“To just do something just out of.. making yourself feel good for destroying somebody else’s property? Just doesn’t make sense. Doesn’t make sense, it’s disgusting,” Jurbala said.

“How someone could do this to our Blessed Mother is beyond comprehension,” Morock said.

Morock says the statue has been harmed at least once before. He thinks it might be the same offender.

“They looked at videos, same person. Same appearance, same height same weight everything. If he’s the same one that has done this before he deserves jail time,” Morock said.

“To have someone vandalize it, I think that’s pretty rotten,” Jurbala said.

The vandal concealed his identity with a white baseball cap, a black hoodie and a mask. He also appears to be wearing black vans sneakers. Police are hoping someone will come forward with information to help find the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Scranton Police.

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