Arrest made after crucifix outside Boston church vandalized, police say
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Arrest made after crucifix outside Boston church vandalized, police say

Boston police said an arrest has been made after someone snapped the arms of the crucifix outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in South End Tuesday evening. A video from about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday shows a person swinging from the broken crucifix just moments after witnesses said the same person broke off the arms of the statue of Jesus.Images from the Washington Street church show the arms of the Jesus statue broken at the shoulders and hanging by their hands from the cross’s horizontal crosspiece.Boston police said Michael Patzelt, 37, of Attleboro, was arrested and charged with assault and malicious destruction of property. He was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday, where a judge ordered him held on $5,000 bail. In court, Patzelt was described as being homeless and unemployed. He had been living with his grandmother until her death a few months ago. The judge also encouraged his defense attorney to ask for mental health counseling. Police said they also received a call for a suspicious person who knocked off a female victim’s headwear. A spokesperson with the Archdiocese of Boston said they don’t know who would damage the statue or why.Parishioners and neighbors in the South End were stopped in their tracks Wednesday morning by the sight of the destruction.”I’m having jitters right now. Just the fact that somebody even did that,” said Khelyia Serrano. “It touched me a little, even though it’s symbolic,” Jennifer Baxter said. By 10 a.m. Wednesday, work had already begun to repair the crucifix.A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Boston said they have no information regarding why someone could take such action and that they are working with the cathedral to assess the damage. Video: Witness records vandalism of crucifix outside Holy Cross in Boston

Boston police said an arrest has been made after someone snapped the arms of the crucifix outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in South End Tuesday evening.

A video from about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday shows a person swinging from the broken crucifix just moments after witnesses said the same person broke off the arms of the statue of Jesus.

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vandalism at crucifix outside holy cross in boston

Victoria Salvatierra

Images from the Washington Street church show the arms of the Jesus statue broken at the shoulders and hanging by their hands from the cross’s horizontal crosspiece.

Boston police said Michael Patzelt, 37, of Attleboro, was arrested and charged with assault and malicious destruction of property. He was arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday, where a judge ordered him held on $5,000 bail.

In court, Patzelt was described as being homeless and unemployed. He had been living with his grandmother until her death a few months ago.

The judge also encouraged his defense attorney to ask for mental health counseling.

Police said they also received a call for a suspicious person who knocked off a female victim’s headwear.

A spokesperson with the Archdiocese of Boston said they don’t know who would damage the statue or why.

Parishioners and neighbors in the South End were stopped in their tracks Wednesday morning by the sight of the destruction.

“I’m having jitters right now. Just the fact that somebody even did that,” said Khelyia Serrano.

“It touched me a little, even though it’s symbolic,” Jennifer Baxter said.

By 10 a.m. Wednesday, work had already begun to repair the crucifix.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Boston said they have no information regarding why someone could take such action and that they are working with the cathedral to assess the damage.

Video: Witness records vandalism of crucifix outside Holy Cross in Boston

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