Fire-Bombing Attempt Causes Minor Damage to Historic Church: NYPD

NYPD hate crime investigators are looking into an attempted fire-bombing of a Staten Island church Sunday afternoon.

Someone tossed an incendiary device at about 2:20 p.m. into the historic St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church in the Stapleton neighborhood, investigators said.

"They tossed in through that window, and you can see where it landed here and burned out," Fr. Frederick Schraplau said Monday, showing the charcoaled stain of the burned slate floor tiles. 

No one was injured.

Schraplau said he doesn't know who would want to destroy the landmarked building built nearly 150 years ago, but said there was someone angry with the church: a homeless man who had been staying in the dilapidated shed on their property. The church forced him to leave two weeks ago. 

"The shed is very dangerous. And he was there all winter and we said, 'He's gotta get out of there because it could collapse with him in it,'" he said. 

Police wouldn't confirm they're investigating the possibility he's involved. Hate crime investigators were there Sunday, though police have not officially declared it a hate crime. 

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