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Arrest made in vandalism of Cardinal Dolan’s residence at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC

November 10, 2022 Catholic News Agency 0
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York / John Bilous/Shutterstock

Boston, Mass., Nov 10, 2022 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

An arrest has been made in a two-day-long vandalism spree in October that included an attack on Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s residence at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

Juan Velez was arrested by the New York Police Department’s Warrant Squad, police said Wednesday. In that announcement, police said Velez is being charged with 15 incidents of criminal mischief that occurred in Manhattan. 

Three of those incidents were attacks on churches, one of which was on St. Patrick’s Cathedral, police said. 

A video of the attack on St. Patrick’s Cathedral that circulated in the media shows a man approach the historic church and throw an object at its glass doors. He then can be seen fleeing the scene. 

On Nov. 2, police said they identified the attacker as Velez. In that announcement, police said that Velez threw a wrench at the cathedral and broke a window around noon in the October attack. 

According to ny1.com, authorities said the wrench hit the residence of Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York. His residence is a part of the cathedral, the outlet reported. The outlet reported that Dolan was not home during the time of the attack, and no injuries occurred, according to police.

Police said that the next day, Oct. 29, Velez “caused damage” to All Saints Episcopal Church and the “Archdiocese of New York.” It’s unclear what building in the archdiocese was attacked. However, ny1.com reported that the Archdiocese of New York on First Avenue had an unknown object thrown at it by Velez, which damaged a glass door.

The archdiocese has administrative offices on First Avenue, according to its website.

“We are grateful for the hard work of the NYPD for the serious way they responded to this disturbing incident,” Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York, told CNA.

According to ny1.com, authorities claim that Velez ripped a flag and damaged the front doors at the Episcopal church on East 60th Street.

Police said Nov. 3 that Velez was wanted for “criminal mischief hate crime pattern.” In that announcement, police said that Velez broke windows, doors, and flags at different churches.

Police arrested Juan Velez in connection with the Oct. 28, 2022, vandalism at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, and vandalism at other places of worship. Credit: NYPD Crime Stoppers
Police arrested Juan Velez in connection with the Oct. 28, 2022, vandalism at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and vandalism at other places of worship. Credit: NYPD Crime Stoppers

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