An Attleboro man with a prolonged felony historical past is going through costs in reference to a brazen act of vandalism at a landmark cathedral on Tuesday night time that left a 150-year-old crucifix with damaged arms.
Michael Patzelt, 37, of Attleboro, was arraigned Wednesday in Boston Municipal Court docket on costs together with assault and malicious destruction of property after prosecutors say the crucifix exterior of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross within the South Finish sustained about $20,000 value of injury.
Officers responding to a report of a suspicious one that had knocked off a feminine sufferer’s headwear simply after 6 p.m. realized that Patzelt proceeded to climb the cross and start to swing and cling from it, breaking off a number of components of the cross, together with each arms of the Jesus Christ statue, in line with the Boston Police Division.
“Boston police obtained a radio name for an individual who was hanging on the cross at 1400 Washington Road…The individual was seen climbing, hanging, and swinging on the cross,” a prosecutor informed the court docket throughout the listening to. “He brought about vital harm to the cross.”
A video shared with Boston 25 Information confirmed Patzelt, wearing all inexperienced, yanking and swinging on the armless portion of the statue.
Earlier than breaking off a number of components of the crucifix, Patzelt walked into a close-by retailer and knocked the hat off Tashana Watson, a mom who was buying together with her 11-year-old son.
“I pushed him,” Watson stated. “I pushed him like 4 instances to get him away. After which he grabbed my hair and my hat and threw it. Then he tried to have a dialog, one thing to the impact of, simply shoot me.”
Patzelt has a number of convictions on his report, and a historical past out of Attleboro District Court docket and Florida, together with a previous jail sentence for assaulting an ambulance driver.
The prosecution requested the choose to carry Patzelt on $500 bail, however a choose elevated that quantity to $5,000 after asking his lawyer, “Counsel, is that this a difficulty of a wicked coronary heart or a really sick thoughts?”
“I’m trying at his report and I see a man who has seven pages of dedicated time…After which I’m going and I look at a 10-page Florida report, and it’s full of comparable costs to what we’re seeing right here at present,” the choose stated. “I’m going to set a $5,000 money bail…If we’re coping with a psychological sickness, let’s unravel that ASAP.”
Patzelt lawyer informed the court docket that he’s out of labor, homeless, and “remorseful” for his actions. The lawyer additionally defined that Patzelt had been residing in Attleboro together with his grandmother however she handed away, forcing him to maneuver out.
Along with bail, Patzelt was additionally ordered to avoid Watson and son he got here in touch with and to chorus from stepping inside 100 toes of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
“The extent of venom and destructiveness displayed by this particular person is tough to understand. We reside in a society the place residents are free to follow any faith they select, and equally free to follow no faith at all. However they aren’t free to desecrate symbols held treasured by the numerous faiths inside our society,” Suffolk District Legal professional Kevin Hayden stated.
Crews have been noticed Wednesday afternoon making repairs to the vandalized crucifix.
The Nineteenth-century statue got here to the Cathedral simply two years in the past. It was owned by the Little Sisters of the Poor and stood in a backyard at their now-closed Somerville nursing dwelling.
“Cardinal Sean liked that statue,” stated Paul Deeley, whose late mother and father made restoration of the statue attainable, by leaving the Little Sisters their property.
When the Little Sisters left Boston, the Cardinal had the artifact dropped at the Cathedral.
Deeley was saddened to see the vandalism. “There was a time when church buildings have been revered in our neighborhood and it by no means would have occurred,” he stated. “Sadly, that’s not the case.”
The cathedral is the most important church in New England, measuring 364 toes in size, 90 toes in width, and 120 toes in top.
Patzelt is due again in court docket on November 30.
An investigation is ongoing.
It is a creating story. Examine again for updates as extra data turns into accessible.
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