Drunk Destroys $100,000 Worth of Religious Art

A man damaged artifacts worth more than $100,000 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the East Village. Photo courtesy of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
A man damaged artifacts worth more than $100,000 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in the East Village. Photo courtesy of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

A drunk man went on a rampage in a church in Manhattan’s East Village on Wednesday, ruining over $100,000 worth of religious artifacts, NY Daily News reported.

Michael Torres attended an alcoholics anonymous meeting at the church prior to his outburst. Church officials told police that he was intoxicated during the session. Torres allegedly returned to the church after the meeting finished, and forced his way into the building.

John Matcovich, Parish Manager at the Church of Immaculate Conception, told NY Daily News: “Somehow he yanked the front door of the church so hard that he bent the rod that goes through a hole in the frame of the door. He bent the frame and the wood so the door opened.”

Residents alerted the police after they saw him break in and heard him smash the artifacts. Officers found Torres standing amidst 14 broken statues, crucifixes, and candelabras. “I was praying,” he insisted.

However Matcovich confirmed that surveillance footage proved Torres was behind the wrecking. “With his bare hands he ripped every [stations of the cross wood carving] off the wall and threw them on the floor.”

“He was just bent on destruction,” Matcovich added.

Police charged the culprit with burglary and criminal mischief. Torres is currently being detained at the Manhattan Detention Complex. His bail has been set at $10,000.

For more news about the damaging effects of liquor upon art, see Drunk German Soccer Fans Steal Emil Nolde Painting Worth Millions and Artists Destroy Beuys Sculpture to Make Booze.


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