Bensonhurst

Rep. Malliotakis urges Brooklyn DA to hold church vandal accountable

June 12, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BENSONHURST — THE VANDAL WHO DAMAGED TWO STATUES AND A DOOR AT ST. DOMINIC’S CHURCH in Bensonhurst must be held accountable, says Brooklyn Congressmember Nicole Malliotakis (R-11) and is urging the Kings County District Attorney to act in “the fullest extent possible under the law.” The vandal was walking around Bensonhurst, damaging cars and city property with a hammer. Proceeding to St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church, he desecrated statues and smashed glass on the doors. Malliotakis, who represents the neighborhood, said on Tuesday, “I’m saddened by this hateful act against a Catholic church in our community, and I’m thankful to the NYPD for quickly apprehending this violent individual.” She added that her office has been in contact with the NYPD and the church’s pastor regarding this incident. The damaged statues were of St. Pope John XXIII, who was the Roman Catholic pontiff from 1958-63 and known for ecclesiastical reforms and canonized in 2014, and of St. Teresa of Calcutta, also known as Mother Teresa, canonized in 2016.

Other sources, including the Daily News, had initially reported from NYC officials that the assailant, identified as Randy Maldonado-Avila, had vandalized the church before hammering cars, a bus kiosk, and other city-owned property. He had no criminal record, but there was a history of mental health issues.

The vandalized statue of St. Pope John XXIII, who was canonized along with St. Pope John Paul II in 2014. Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis
The vandalized statue of St. Pope John XXIII, who was canonized along with St. Pope John Paul II in 2014. Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis
The vandalized statue of Mother Teresa. Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis
The vandalized statue of Mother Teresa. Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis
The glass door was hammered in by a vandal with a history of mental illness. He is now in police custody. Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis
The glass door was hammered in by a vandal with a history of mental illness. He is now in police custody. Photo courtesy Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

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