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Cristo Rey Catholic Church vandalized in East Austin, suspect arrested

The church has been serving the local Hispanic community for more than six decades.
Credit: Austin Police Department

AUSTIN, Texas — Parishioners at the Cristo Rey Catholic Church in East Austin discovered that their place of worship was vandalized Friday.

According to photos posted by Austin City Council (D-3) candidate José M.A. Velasquez, many of the church's windows were smashed.

"Prayers up for the person/persons, and whatever they were struggling with, that decided to attack our church," Velasquez said. "Prayers up for the parishioners who are already channeling frustrations and anger into something positive by having us collect all the glass so they can create an art piece for the community."

Prayers up for the person/persons, and whatever they were struggling with, that decided to attack our church. Prayers...

Posted by José A. Velásquez on Friday, April 8, 2022

According to its website, the church has been serving Hispanic families for more than 60 years.

"When the parish was founded, Cristo Rey was a neighborhood parish. Now parishioners come from the entire city of Austin and the surrounding cities," its website states. "Cristo Rey is still a community dedicated to celebrating the presence of the Spirit of God. We welcome everyone who seeks a closer relationship with Jesus."

The Austin Police Department announced Friday evening that it has arrested 33-year-old Carlos Ramos for criminal mischief, a third-degree felony.

Credit: Austin Police Department

According to an affidavit obtained by KVUE on Monday, an APD officer responded to a mischief/vandalism call at 2208 E. Second Street, at around 2:15 a.m. Friday. The call said that a man was throwing bottles, rocks and candles from a statue at the church and destroying property.

When the officer arrived on the scene, they witness a man identified as Ramos throwing an object and breaking glass. Ramos said that he was breaking windows because he had family issues going on and he was "mad," according to the affidavit.

The officer said that, in total, they counted 29 windows and two glass doors being destroyed. The total cost of the damage is more than $78,000, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states that Ramos also admitted to breaking a glass door at another location, which is being investigated under a different APD case number than this incident.

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