SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A woman was arrested after, police said, she was seen throwing bricks at a church causing thousands of dollars in damage.
The incident happened Sunday evening at the Martin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Center located at 14741 Lincoln Blvd.
According to the arrest report, upon arriving at the scene, Miami Police officers spotted a woman matching a description they were given walking away from the church and detained her as part of their investigation.
One witness, according to police, told officers that he saw the woman picking up bricks and hurling them at various windows of the church, resulting in approximately $10,000 in damages. Two women apparently got into a fight out front.
“Two young ladies who were having an altercation and they really decided to take out all of their anger on the church,” said Rev. Dr. Anthony Reed.
Cellphone video showed the mess that the vandals left behind and daylight revealed the damage to the church.
“They damaged the windows, they took huge bricks and threw it at the windows,” Reed said. “These are stained glass windows that were part of the original church.”
Windows were knocked loose and pushed from the frame, and not long after, police were called and one woman was arrested just down the road.
“It hurts, it hurts,” continued Reed. “… It’s devastating to know that in this day and time, that people would vandalize the church.”
The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Marie Falconer, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief at a place of worship.
On Monday, she appeared in court.
“Ms. Falconer, you are to stay away from the Martin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Center, do you understand that?” a judge said.
The church family will now have to start from scratch when it comes to decorating for the big event of the season. But despite the setback, Rev. Reed said this year’s annual Winter Wonderland Festival will go on as planned.
“We’re just going to stay hopeful,” he said. “We’re not going to let this one bad situation ruin our spirit to bring joy to families in the community.”
Reed said if anyone would like to help restore the Winter Wonderland, they can contribute via Cashapp. The handle is $purplechurch and under the memo line, write “winter joy.”
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