EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The man accused of destroying a historic statue at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday told police the statue was “the wrong color.”
According to an affidavit detailing the incident, a witness saw 30-year-old Isaiah Cantrell knock down the statue. The witness then advised church staff of what was happening. Staff members also saw what happened through security surveillance.
Two church staffers chased Cantrell when he ran out of the church. An officer was passing by when the officer saw Cantrell being followed down North Mesa Street by the two men.
The officer stopped Cantrell and initially arrested Cantrell for possession of marijuana, according to the affidavit.
While being questioned, Cantrell told police that he went into the church to repent. Upon further questioning, Cantrell said that the statue was the wrong color. He told the officer that Jesus was Jewish, so the statue should have a darker skin color, the affidavit stated. He denied destroying the statue, saying it fell on its own.
Cantrell was arrested Tuesday morning. He is accused of destroying an almost 90-year-old statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was located in the center behind the main altar of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Cantrell was charged with criminal mischief greater than or equal to $2,500, but less than $30,000. The statue is estimated to be worth $25,000.