PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – One person was arrested after the Madonna statue outside of a Beechview church was smashed and destroyed early Saturday morning.
A witness said they saw a person smash the Immaculate Conception statue around 6 a.m. outside of St. Pamphilus Church located on Tropical Avenue.
It’s believed the statue, which is solid marble and weighs 700 pounds, was pushed from behind to the ground.
Police have identified the man arrested as 54-year-old William Wilton of Dormont.
He was arrested at the scene, and then taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital for a mental evaluation. Once he’s released from the hospital, he’ll be taken to jail.
Church officials say it will cost $50,000 to fix because of the marble and gold.
Meanwhile, members of St. Pamphilus say they are happy the person responsible has been caught.
“One of the neighbors heard it, opened up, yelled and he was still here. Then, he called the cops, and the cops came and they arrested him,” Ken Krauss, a church member, said. “You know, we’re supposed to turn our cheek and go the other way. Well, then we have to turn our cheek, but [I’m] glad my cheek wasn’t here that day.”
The statue has been standing outside of the friary for about 40 years.