MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man has been charged with a felony for vandalizing a statue of the Virgin Mary at a south side church.
It happened Monday outside of St. Adalbert’s Parish.
According to the criminal complaint, Joshua Cisero is accused of the crime. He’s charged with criminal damage to a religious property, a felony, and if convicted Cisero could spend three and half years behind bars.
Although a new statue stands in place of the old one, some people are still offended.
“That’s messed up. People don’t have no respect today,” John Calderon said.
Calderon considers this a targeted crime.
“Racism, nothing else. They were trying to target the center of the southside," Calderon said.
According to court documents, Cisero “caused a scene causing cars to slow down and people to crowd around.”
When asked why he smashed the statue to pieces with a metal pole, Cisero said, “‘They practice idolatry. They worship Mary, God said ‘Thou shall have no other gods before me’ …And I destroyed it.”
The church said the statue itself was worth at least $100,000 — but it meant more to them than any amount of money.