Spray-paint vandal targets
— including synagogue
and churches —
in Bay Ridge
Cops nabbed 55-year-old Chris Papadimitriopoulos, who they say spray-painted eight locations around Bay Ridge, Brooklyn early Tuesday morning — including a synagogue and two statues outside of St. Anselm’s Church.
Cops nabbed a 55-year-old man they say spray-painted 11 places around Brooklyn early Tuesday — including a synagogue and two statues outside a church.
Chris Papadimitriopoulos vandalized the Bay Ridge Jewish Center and two churches and covered the religious statues outside St. Anselm’s Catholic Church in Bay Ridge with red paint.
One area woman had to come see the vandalism for herself and said, “You’d like to know what makes somebody do this.”
Police sources said Papadimitriopoulos covered statues of Jesus on a Crucifix and the Virgin Mary in red paint in a bias-fueled rage sometime before 3 a.m.
Police arrested Chris Papadimitriopoulos for vandalizing three churches, a synagogue, a day care center and bank with spray paint in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
“It looks like blood,” said Rev. Stephen Saffron of St. Anselm’s Church.
“It’s shocking because you don’t expect to see something like this. When you receive a call at 5 a.m., you expect someone has died or something.”
Rev. Stephen Saffron of St. Anselm’s Church on Fourth Avenue said “it’s shocking” that his church was targeted. It’s the second act of vandalism to strike the church in as many months.
That house of worship was also struck by vandalism at the end of June.
The Union Church of Bay Ridge on Ridge Blvd. was also hit during the early-morning spree.
St. Anselm’s wasn’t the only place Papadimitriopoulos hit Tuesday morning, police say: he also left his mark on the Bay Ridge Jewish Center on 81st St., the Bay Ridge Prep School on Ridge Blvd., the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church on Ridge Boulevard, two homes on 84th St. and a Bank of America on Third Ave.
On most of the spots the vandal wrote “No” or scribbled “XO” and some lines, according to police sources.
More red spray-paint on The Union Church of Bay Ridge.
He also covered up the license plates of several cars in red paint.
Papadimitriopoulos desecrated the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross by using red spray paint.
Cops said that calls about the vandalism started coming in furiously after 3 a.m., after a dog walker spotted the vandalism at St. Anselm’s.
“This is really disturbing,” said 70-year-old Ann Donohue.
The 55-year-old vandal scrawled “NO” here at the Bay Ridge Jewish Center on Fourth Avenue.
“You’d like to know what makes somebody do this. You’d like to know if there’s any logic.”
Police sources said members of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force took Papadimitriopoulos into custody after a security camera recorded him marking up the Bay Ridge Jewish Center.
It remained unclear if Papadimitriopoulos will be connected to the June vandalism at St. Anselm’s, where someone drew an “X” on the statue of the Virgin Mary’s neck.
Residents describe Papadimitriopoulos as a Fifth Ave. fixture who bought the spray paint at an Ace Hardware store the day before.
“The guy comes in periodically,” a worker at the store said. “I asked him what he wanted the paint for. He just started muttering in Greek.”
Papadimitriopoulos was charged with 12 counts of making graffiti, criminal mischief and six counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime.