Who is Randy Maldonado Avila? Police arrest suspect who vandalized Catholic church in Brooklyn

A vandal with a hammer was taken into custody after he struck statues of Mother Teresa and a Catholic pope in the faces outside a Brooklyn church on Monday.

Published on Jun 14, 2024  |  05:07 PM IST |  44.7K
Image Courtesy: Brooklyn Catholic
Image Courtesy: Brooklyn Catholic

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains references to acts of violence. 

Officials from the church and authorities reported that on Monday afternoon, a vandal attacked St. Dominic Church in Brooklyn, smashing its glass front doors and vandalizing two statues, leaving clergy and parishioners shocked. Though the culprit is currently in police custody, parishioners claim that the harm to the statues—both physically and emotionally—has already been done by the vandal, who used a hammer to deface them.

Who is Randy Maldonado?

According to police, Randy Maldonado Avila, 30, allegedly used a hammer to destroy two MTA bus shelters and a pedestrian walk sign before going on his destructive rampage and hitting the statues and the glass doors of St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church in Bensonhurst.

Maldonado Avila, a resident of Flatbush, is accused of attacking the Mother Teresa and Pope John XXIII statues outside the church on Bay Ridge Parkway at approximately 3:30 p.m., causing the latter to lose his right hand and face.

After that, he is said to have broken the church's glass doors before straying and destroying two glass bus shelters along Bay Parkway as well as a pedestrian traffic signal, according to police.

Suspect has no criminal history

About fifteen minutes after his violent outburst, Maldonado Avila, who has no criminal history, was taken into custody and charged by the NYPD with four felonies, four misdemeanors, and four charges of criminal mischief and criminal possession of a firearm. It's uncertain whether Maldonado Avila's actions of vandalizing the Catholic church will result in hate crime charges against him.

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