Virgin Mary Statues Defaced in Yonkers

A series of religious statues have been vandalized in the Westchester neighborhood

Monday, Dec 19, 2011  |  Updated 6:10 PM EDT
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Virgin Mary Statues Defaced in Yonkers

NBC New York

Some of the Virgin Mary statues vandalized in Yonkers on Christmas week

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Police say vandals have sprayed black paint on several religious statues at homes and a church in Yonkers.

The police report calls the vandalism a hate crime.

Spokesman Lt. Patrick McCormack says there were five incidents. He says four statues of the Virgin Mary were painted black at shrines or Nativity scenes in homeowners' yards.

"It's scary, knwoing that it's going around in our neighborhood," said homeowner Samar Hattar, a victim of the vandalism. "We have a great neighborhood around here. I just don't understand."

Hattar said she'd had her Virgin Mary statue for over 22 years. "We've always maintained it, always took care of it," said Hattar. "I don't understand who could do something like this. I'm very upset."

Another resident said she was "hysterical" when she and her fiance were told by a patrolman at their door that their statue was defaced.

"I started crying, I couldn't believe it," she said. "After coming home from church and to see this."

Her fiance, Danny Fontana, said, "You can see this coming on Halloween, but Christmas week? It's heartless."

The lieutenant says that at Sacred Heart Church, a statue of the Virgin was stolen from outside and several statues inside were painted black.

McCormack said Monday that police don't know how many people were involved or when the vandalism occurred. He says one homeowner had a surveillance camera and police will review the video on Tuesday.

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