Police: Man Throws Church Bench Into Shrine, Destroys Several Items

GERMAN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A man has been arrested after allegedly causing damage to a church’s property.

According to police, the incident happened around 5 a.m. Friday at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in German Township.

Sisters of the parish called police to report a man on the property who was upset and yelling. The man allegedly drove a dark-colored sedan through the yard of the church.

He also allegedly knocked over statues and threw a bench through a shrine, which destroyed several objects inside.

“Any type of vandalism to a church to parish grounds is a sad situation, especially on Good Friday, it’s a very solemn day for all Christians,” Catholic Diocese of Greensburg representative Jerry Zufell said.

While state police were investigating, a vehicle matching the description returned to the scene and parked across the street.

Troopers approached the vehicle and found Bradley Dubovich, 39, of New Salem, inside.

He was arrested and is facing a list of charges including, DUI, desecration of a venerable object, criminal mischief and possession of marijuana.

Zufell said parishioners were especially hurt by the damage to the St. Maximilian Kolbe shrine.

The shrine is a monument to Holocaust victims and survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II. St. Maximilian Kolbe was honored with sainthood after he sacrificed his life in 1941.

“St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest in Auschwitz who gave up his life for a layman who had a family, had been designated by the Nazis for death. Father Maximilian stepped forward and said let me take his place,” Zufell said.

“It’s a shame someone could do that, we get up every morning look at the shrine, we visit it, we watch other people kneel and pray there, it’s a shame someone could do that,” Neighbor Joseph Gulino said.

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