On Nov. 3, the statue of a California saint was left with a large gash on its neck and doused in red paint on the grounds of Mission San Gabriel Arcángel — the latest vandalism attack on a statue of St. Junípero Serra.
“The vandalism of Junípero Serra’s statues at our missions began in the northern part of the state ever since Pope Francis deified him,” said Father Manuel “Tony” Diaz, pastor of San Gabriel Mission Church.
Surveillance video footage shows an unidentified person climbing up onto the statue’s pedestal and attempting to decapitate its head with an electric saw. The person gave up after leaving a two-inch dent and then covered the statue in bright red paint. The incident took place at 1:15 a.m. the morning of Nov. 3. The statue suffered approximately $2,000 worth of damages.