A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of using a baseball bat to smash stained glass windows at a Southern California church over the weekend, police said.
Rev. Paul Capetz, the senior pastor at Christ Church by the Sea in Newport Beach, said police called him before dawn Saturday to report the vandalism.
Capetz said the suspect smashed stained glass windows and doors that were donated by a church member years ago in honor of their loved ones. He estimated the damage could cost up to $100,000 to repair.
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The suspect, a resident of San Dimas, was arrested later Saturday morning, according to Newport Beach Police Department Sgt. Sabrina Fabbri. He could face a felony vandalism charge.
Police did not immediately release the suspect’s name or identify a possible motive.
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The man did not appear to have any connection the church, Capetz told the Orange County Register.
Capetz said the vandalism was “traumatic” for the church community.
“People should know how vulnerable and violated we feel when something like this happens,” Capetz told the newspaper. “I feel like I was punched in the gut.”