Woman charged with hate crime after destroying statue outside Queens church

Queens
queens church statues destroyed

Police say a woman destroyed two statues outside of a church in Forest Hills, Queens, on July 17, 2021. (Credit: NYPD)

QUEENS — Police arrested a woman accused of vandalizing church statues in a Queens neighborhood over the summer, officials said Friday.

Jacqueline Nikiena, 23, of Queens, allegedly destroyed a statue outside of Our Lady of Mercy church on Kessel Street in Forest Hills in the overnight hours of July 18.

Video shows a woman hop a rope fence and topple the statue off of its pedestal. She repeatedly slammed the statue to the ground and stomped on it before throwing the pieces into the roadway, the video also showed.

At the time of the incident, police said she’d destroyed two statues at the church before fleeing in an unknown direction.

Nikiena is charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, police said.

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