You are reading

Statues Outside Forest Hills Catholic Church Toppled and Smashed in Apparent Hate Crime: Video

Statues destroyed outside Our Lady of Mercy (Diocese of Brooklyn)

July 19, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Two statues that have stood outside a Catholic Church in Forest Hills since it opened in the 1930s were toppled and smashed early Saturday in what police are investigating as a hate crime.

A woman knocked down the statues that stood outside Our Lady of Mercy parish, located at 70-1 Kessel St., at around 3:30 a.m., police and the Diocese of Brooklyn said.

She then dragged the statues — one of the Blessed Mother and one of St. Therese the Little Flower — into the street and repeatedly smashed them.

The statues — which were more than 80 years old — were left in pieces.

“Both of these statues have stood in front of the church since it was built [in 1937],” Father Frank Schwarz, the pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, said. “It is heartbreaking, but sadly it is becoming more and more common these days.”

Parish leaders have since put signs on the broken pieces that ask passersby to “Please pray for the person who did this.”

Statues destroyed outside Our Lady of Mercy (Queens Post)

Schwarz said he is praying for greater religious tolerance in the country.

“I pray that this recent rash of attacks against Catholic churches and all houses of worship will end, and religious tolerance may become more a part of our society.”

The vandalism was caught on video and police believe the suspect is a woman in her mid-20s with a medium complexion and average build. She was wearing all black clothing in the video.

The Diocese of Brooklyn (which also covers Queens) said the two statues were toppled over earlier in the week, on Wednesday evening. The statues were not damaged on that occasion, but police believe the female suspect wanted for Saturday’s incident was responsible for the vandalism on Wednesday.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.