Man Faces Charges After Damaging Church

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A man is arrested after burning and destroying the interior of a church Sunday.

Oscar Medina Ruiz is facing charges of burglary, arson, vandalism of a church and hate crime, said Hanford Police.

Hanford Police said that officers were sent to the 10000 block of E. Hanford Armona Road at 9:24 p.m. after a witness reported there was a “huge” man at her front door. He had been banging a trash can against her fence. According to police, she said that the man had possibly gone to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church after they arrived.

Officers checked the area and found a vehicle parked in front of the church, said police officials. A man, later identified as Ruiz, came out the front of the church. He initially did not listen to officers but after a few minutes of talking to him, Ruiz was detained.

Officers checked the interior of the church and found that is was covered with smoke, said police officials. The Hanford Fire Department was sent in and located a small fire inside, near the back of the church. A women living inside the church was taken outside without any injuries.

Officers entered the church after and discovered the interior of the church destroyed with several thousands of dollars in damage, said police officials. Ruiz admitted to causing the damage because he was upset with the Vatican.

Hanford Police said Ruiz was arrested and booked into the Kings County Jail. The case is currently under investigation.       

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