Photo: statue defaced
SAN RAFAEL — Four women were arrested on suspicion of vandalizing a statue of Junipero Serra outside Saint Raphael Catholic Church. The statue was doused with red paint and torn down during a protest on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The women are believed responsible for damaging the statue of the Spanish colonial era priest. Serra is a saint in the Catholic faith and scorned by some persons of Native American ancestry.
Police received information via social media that protesters planned to remove the statue on October 12, formerly Columbus Day. Police working with the Archdiocese of San Francisco devised a plan to monitor protesters.
It turns out, a few of the 45 protesters destroyed church property. A statement released by the San Rafael Police Department documented events leading to the statue being ripped down.
Two persons approached and threw red paint on the statue at 5:30 p.m. Immediately afterward, other protesters sprayed more red paint onto the statue.
Several minutes later, straps and ropes were tied around the statue. At 5:45 p.m., the statue was pulled down from its pedestal. Officers on the perimeter of the protest saw which persons were involved in the vandalism.
As five suspects were leaving the protest, they were contacted away from the other participants’ views. This tactic was used to keep the peace and avoid conflict with multiple protesters and police officers.
Four persons were arrested for felony vandalism 594(B)(1), cited and released at
Melissa Yaneth Ovideo Aguilar, 23 of Novato
Mayorgi Nadieska Delgadillo, 26 of San Rafael
Victoria Eva Montano Pena, 29 of Oakland
Moira Van De Walker, 25 of San Anselmo
A fifth woman detained was cited only for not possessing identification and failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility.