Fall River police are asking for the public’s help with identifying a suspect who broke into the Good Shepherd Parish.

A vandal allegedly broke into a Fall River Catholic church earlier this week, doused a Virgin Mary statue with bleach, and smashed a statue of the baby Jesus, according to local police. 

The Fall River Police Department said the incident happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Good Shepherd Parish at 1598 South Main St. Police are now seeking the public’s help with identifying the suspect, who was last seen walking in the area of Tuttle and Dwelly streets. 

Investigators released three surveillance images of the suspect, who appears to be a young white male wearing a striped hoodie and a winter hat.

Fall River Mayor William A. Flanagan weighed in on the incident on social media, calling the vandalism “very disturbing behavior.”

“Today at the Good [Shepherd] Parish in Fall River someone broke and entered in order to smash a statue of the Baby Jesus and [pour] bleach on our Mother Mary… very disturbing behavior,” Flanagan said on his public Facebook page. Flanagan also shared a photo of the vandalized statue that shows a bottle of bleach nearby.

More than 100 community members responded to Flanagan’s social media post with condemnation, with one person calling the vandalism “heartbreaking.”

The Good Shepherd Parish hosts an annual feast each August. The widely-attended three-day event features Portuguese and Polish foods, a flea market, crafters, and vendors. 

Investigators asked that residents with video surveillance footage in the area contact Fall River police at 508-324-2796. People can also offer anonymous tips by calling 508-672-8477 (TIPS).


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