A man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly spray-painting a Catholic church employee in the face, throwing a rock at him and vandalizing the St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington.
The incident is the latest in a long list of attacks on churches and pro-life organizations since news broke in May about the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
FOX 13 reports police said the 31-year-old man will face hate crime, assault and other charges for allegedly vandalizing the Bellevue church and assaulting one of its employees.
According to Bellevue Police, two glass doors were smashed and more than a dozen spots were spray-painted with words including “religion of hate,” “liar” and “woman haters.”
The vandalism occurred during the day Tuesday when a woman was inside the church praying, according to the report. The woman said she locked herself inside while the vandalism continued. A security video shows the suspect throwing rocks at the church door and spray-painting a wall.
Later, when a church employee confronted the man, police said he threw a rock at the employee and spray-painted him in the face, KIRO News 7 reports.
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“He took one of the cans of spray paint and actually spray-painted the person in the face and in the shirt and the side of the head,” Bellevue Police Captain Darryl McKinney told the news outlet.
When police found the suspect down the road, they said he hit one of their vehicles with a bag of spray-paint cans before being arrested. The suspect appeared to be intoxicated, and police said he injured himself during the incident. Police said they took the man to the hospital for treatment.
Father Gary Zender expressed compassion for the suspect in an interview with KIRO, saying: “A lot of people are hurting, including the man who did this. So just on the human level, I connect with that struggle.”
While Zender and police could not confirm if the vandalism occurred in direct response to the abortion issue, they suggested that there may be a connection.
McKinney said the suspect will be charged with a hate crime.
“Some of the comments that he actually spray-painted on the buildings were anti-Catholic remarks,” the police captain said. “It definitely fits the category of a hate crime.”
Dozens of pro-life organizations and churches have been targets of arson, vandalism and threats since news broke in early May that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. The court released its historic ruling Friday, and the hostility has continued.
Authorities are investigating two suspected arsons over the weekend at a historic Catholic church in West Virginia and a Catholic bookstore in Houston, Texas. The fires are suspicious after radical pro-abortion groups urged abortion activists to direct their outrage at pro-life organizations and churches, especially Catholic churches.
Over the weekend, a Colorado pregnancy center also was set on fire, and other pro-life organizations, churches, businesses and buildings were vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti. In Los Angeles, an abortion activist is facing attempted murder charges after allegedly trying to burn a police officer with a flamethrower.
Earlier this month, an alleged assassin with a gun also was arrested outside the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh after the man said he planned to kill the justice, according to police. Kavanaugh was one of the justices who agreed to overturn Roe.
This week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning of continued domestic violence directed at churches, faith-based pro-life organizations, judges and lawmakers in response to the abortion ruling.
“Faith-based organizations across the United States continue to report numerous criminal incidents against religious institutions connected to abortion rights,” the report states. “We are aware of at least 11 incidents of vandalism threatening violence targeting religious facilities perceived as being opposed to abortion, and one threat to ‘bomb’ and ‘burn’ a church in New York. These incidents of vandalism against faith-based organizations could indicate future targets of DVE attacks.”
The DHS report names the pro-abortion extremist group Jane’s Revenge, which called for a “night of rage” after the Supreme Court ruling and allegedly took credit for setting fire to a Wisconsin pro-life organization and vandalizing others in states across the country.
LifeNews has been keeping track of incidents since the leak. They include:
Texas – 3 Statues Vandalized at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Harlingen (Valley Central 4)
New York – Ascension Roman Catholic Church in Upper West Side Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Threat (Newsweek)
Florida – Methodist Church in Tallahassee Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti (Newsweek)
USA – Hackers Attack Pro-Life States and Organizations, Steal Data (The Byte)
Louisiana – Tombstones for Unborn Babies Vandalized at Holy Name of Mary Church in Algiers (Live Action News)
Iowa – Informed Choices Pro-Life Center Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti (Live Action News)
Oregon– All Saints Catholic Church in Northeast Portland Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti (Catholic Sentinel)
North Carolina – NC GOP Responds to Abortion Graffiti at Raleigh Headquarters (News Observer)
Rhode Island – Police Arrest Two at Pro-Abortion Protest in Providence (The Providence Journal)
Virginia – St. John Catholic Church Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti after Supreme Court Ruling (NBC Washington 4) Vandals Allegedly Tried to Set Garden on Fire (MRC-TV)
South Carolina – Police Arrest 6 Abortion Activists at Pro-Abortion Protest in Greenville (The Daily Wire)
Vermont – Windows Smashed, Pro-Abortion Graffiti Found on Vermont Statehouse after Roe Overturned (VT Digger)
California – Paso Robles Tree of Life Pregnancy Center Vandalized after Roe Overturned (KSBY News 6) (more from The Tribune)
Washington, D.C. – MAGA hat swatted off pro-life protester’s head in front of SCOTUS (Richie McGinnis/Daily Caller)
Washington state – Pro-Abortion Radicals Destroy Street Preacher’s Bible during Seattle Protest (Jonathan Choe/Discovery Institute)
Washington state – Security Guard Hit with Metal Pipe during Pro-Abortion Protest in Seattle (Jonathan Choe/Discovery Institute)
Washington state – Antifa attack and pepper spray pro-life woman in Seattle (The Post Millennial)
California – Pro-Abortion Protesters in Sacramento Surround Car, Block Driver from Leaving (Fox 40)
Oregon – Eugene Police Arrest 10 during Pro-Abortion ‘Night of Rage’ (The Hill)
California – Los Angeles Pro-Abortion Protesters Shut Down Street, Hit Drivers with Sticks (El American/Andy Ngo)
Iowa – Republican Office in Cedar Rapids Vandalized (The Gazette)
Kansas – Pro-Life Yard Signs Ripped Apart, Stolen at Multiple Homes Ahead of Pro-Life Amendment Vote (Value Them Both)
Michigan – Two More Sites Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti, Including Pro-Life Group and Congressman’s Office (Right to Life of Michigan)
Ohio – Pro-Life Billboard in Columbus Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti (Right to Life of Northeast Ohio)
Washington state – Pro-life Republican Lawmaker’s Office Hit with Arson Attempt, Vandalism
Alaska – Pregnancy Center Vandalized with Nails, Pro-Abortion Graffiti (EWTN Ireland)
New York – Topless Abortion Rights Protesters Storm Court At New York Liberty WNBA Game (Huffington Post)
New York – Statues of Lúcia dos Santos and Jacinta Marto smashed and decapitated at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church (ABC 7 New York)
Michigan – Police Arrest Abortion Activist for Allegedly Disrupting Michigan House Session (Bridge Michigan)
Maryland – Police Arrest Man with Weapon outside Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s Home, Allegedly Threatened to Murder Him (Washington Post)
North Carolina – Asheville Pregnancy Center Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti (Lauren Muzyka/Sidewalk Advocates for Life) (more at FOX Carolina)
New York – Pro-Abortion Protesters Mob Catholic Pro-Life Procession (National Review)
Pennsylvania – Pro-Life Billboard Vandalized in Pittsburgh (ProLife Across America)
Oregon – Mother and Child center vandalized; Address was publicized by group that favors abortion rights (Catholic Sentinel)
Oregon – Eugene Pregnancy Center Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti (Andy Ngo)
Mississippi – Rural Black Church Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti
Oregon – Pro-Life Billboard Vandalized in Portland: “Abort the Supreme Court” (Andy Ngo)
Alabama – Vicar, Parishioners Respond to Vandalism at Pro-Life Women’s Clinic in Auburn (Opelika-Auburn News)
Arizona – Watch: Pro-Abortion Demonstrators Attack, Spit on ‘Students for Kari’ Volunteers (College Fix)
Missouri – Pro-life Student Group at University of Missouri Calls for Dialogue after its Memorial Was Vandalized (Campus Reform)
Indiana – Pro-Life Student Advocates Shoved, Grabbed from Behind at Pro-Abortion Rally (Students for Life)
Maryland – Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti (Andy Ngo) (more at WBAL-TV 11)
USA – Video: Pro-Life Student Activists Kicked, Shoved by Pro-Abortion Protesters (Students for Life)
Maine – Republican Senator Receives Threats after Voting No on Radical Pro-Abortion Bill (Boston Globe)
Texas – Another Pro-Life Pregnancy Center Vandalized in Denton (NRL News)
Virginia – Pro-Life Organization Office Vandalized; Man Exposes Himself, Urinates on Front Door (Concerned Women for America)
Colorado – Parish church in Fort Collins tagged with pro-abortion graffiti; police investigating (Catholic News Agency)
Virginia – Pregnancy Center Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti in Northern Virginia (National Review) (more from Human Coalition)
Texas – Pro-Life Pregnancy Center Vandalized in Denton, Texas (more from Students for Life)
Washington, D.C. – Two Pro-Life Leaders Say Abortion Activists Punched Them at D.C. Protest (Stand True)
Texas – Pro-Abortion Group Brags about Vandalizing Trotter House Pregnancy Center in Austin (Stop the Sweeps ATX) (more at Pregnancy Help News)
Washington state – Antifa Assault News Crew during Pro-Abortion Rally in Seattle (Andy Ngo)
Colorado – Catholic Church in Boulder Defiled Following Roe v. Wade Draft Opinion Leak (Denver Gazette)
Oregon – Pro-Abortion Protesters Damage Property In Portland Following SCOTUS Leak On Abortion (KXL 101 FM News) (more at KOIN 6)