- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A church that has welcomed Indianapolis citizens for nearly 100 years has been vandalized twice in the past two weeks.

The Cottage Avenue Pentecostal Fellowship has had a statue of Jesus on its property for five years without incident. But the statue has been beheaded twice this month, and church officials said it is harder to dismiss the vandalism after the second occurrence.

“It makes me sad that somebody would do something like that,” Pastor Brad Flaskamp told a local Fox affiliate Monday. “I was hoping it was just a random act to destroy it in the first place. I can tell you that I don’t think it’s kids. It would have to be a kid that can wield a sledgehammer. … Someone needs Jesus, that’s for sure. And not just his head, that’s the truth.”

Parishioners were split on the identity of the culprit. Church secretary Sue Myers said she suspects it’s “someone new in the neighborhood” with “some really deep problems,” while her grandson, Tony, thinks it’s someone who “just has fun destroying other people’s things.”

The pastor said if the suspect returns the statue’s head and confesses, he will forgive the individual and not call the authorities.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said that an investigation of the crimes is ongoing.

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