A Northern California woman is under arrest after she allegedly went on a $15,000 rampage inside a church, including toppling a 15-foot crucifix.
According to Fox News, the footage shows Jackeline Chavira, a 23-year-old, who was taken into custody after her destructive frenzy — and the video has become a minor sensation on social media.
The clip begins with the woman walking into St. Patrick’s Church in Watsonville, California. She can be seen casing the joint before going up to the altar and tipping over the crucifix.
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At that point, the woman runs out of the sanctuary. She then went next door to a prayer room, where she damaged a statue and artwork with parishioners present.
According to the Fresno Bee, that wasn’t all she did on Wednesday.
“Police said in a news release Thursday that Chavira first stole roses from a store on Main Street, went to nearby shop to steal (and purposely break) a religious statue, and then took a soda from a bakery before heading to St. Patrick’s Church,” they reported.
Officers have arrested a 23-year-old woman who went on a vandalism spree, leaving upwards of $15,000 in damages at a Watsonville church.Jackeline Chavira hit multiple businesses on Wednesday before making her way to St. Patrick’s Church on Main Street where she caused the most extensive damage.For a timeline of events ➡️ http://bit.ly/VandalismSpreeArrest
Posted by Watsonville Police Department on Thursday, February 7, 2019
In the video, you can still see her carrying what police say are the roses.
“Chavira left the church and went to a shop selling religious goods, where she tried stealing yet another statue, police said,” according to the Bee’s report.
“But that attempt led to an argument with a worker, and Chavira soon threw down the statue and broke it, police said. Chavira was arrested about two hours after that crime, which police listed as the last one in a timeline of the crime spree. The spree began at 11:40 a.m., police said.”
Now that she’s in custody, she’s being held on $25,000 bail. The Bee reported that she’s currently charged with defacing property, vandalizing a place of worship, disobeying a court order and burglary.
This all brings up a question: Where’s the national outrage?
Chavira allegedly did $15,000 worth of damage to a church and a prayer sanctuary. Before that, she destroyed a religious statue in a shop. Afterward, she went to a religious goods shop and attempted to steal yet another statue. One could argue the majority of this spree seems religiously motivated.
While this has received some media coverage, most of the media has treated this as a curiosity, not as a potential attack on Christians.
Think about what would have happened if this were any other house of worship. If this were a Jewish synagogue, a Buddhist temple, a mosque, or anything else like that, the story would be a national one. We’d probably get some sort of narrative-pushing about “Trump’s America,” something along the lines of what we saw with the kids from Covington Catholic. This is what happens every time some idiot decides to put bacon on a mosque door, after all.
Here, most of the coverage seems to be local or sensationalized. Fox News covered the story, but they’re an outlier here.
The desecration of any place of worship is bad enough, no matter what faith it is. Intent matters, and we’ll find out more about whether Chavira — if she is indeed the culprit — harbored some sort of animus against Christians.
However, what we see at work here yet again is a double standard when it comes to what will capture the media’s attention. Vandalism at a mosque or temple, sure. A church, not so much.