GLENDALE — Los Angeles County prosecutors now consider vandalism to a stone monument at St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church to be a hate crime.
The vandalism charges filed against 23-year-old Glendale resident Victor Petrescu were amended Thursday to reflect the change roughly one week after he was arrested in front of the church. Witnesses said he used a sledgehammer to smash a stone monument.
After the Los Angeles County district attorney's office filed felony vandalism charges, Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa asked prosecutors to reconsider the evidence for the hate crime enhancement.
"It was simply based on additional analysis," district attorney spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales of the decision to amend the charge.
Petrescu, who police said is Christian and of Romanian descent, has also been charged with felony vandalism of religious property and a misdemeanor count of possessing tools with the intent to commit vandalism, according to a criminal complaint.