SOUTH GLENDALE — A 23-year-old Glendale man who allegedly used a sledgehammer to smash a sacred monument outside St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church could face felony vandalism charges, police said.
Victor Petrescu was arrested about 10 a.m. Tuesday after he was seen using a sledgehammer to break off pieces from the church's monument on the 500 block of South Central Avenue, causing roughly $80,000 in damage, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
Petrescu told police he was Jewish, and that "it said in the Bible he must destroy sacred pillars," Lorenz said.
The act was not a hate crime because Lorenz said detectives have questioned his mental stability.
Petrescu on Wednesday allegedly changed his initial story, telling police that he was Christian, Lorenz said.
Church staff and congregants saw Petrescu and tried stopping him, but he didn't answer as he raised the sledgehammer and cracked the monument, the Rev. Ardak Demirjian said.