Crucifix damage suspect arrested

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ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE 2/12:

Vandalism suspect and car
Security photos of vandalism suspect at Nativity of Our Lord church in Ashwaubenon and suspect car (via Ashwaubenon Public Safety). CLICK IMAGE FOR EXPANDED VIEW.

Police say they've identified a man who stole a crucifix from a local church and used it to smash a sign outside a television station.

Brendan McSweeney, 29, is facing charges of Felony Damage to Religious Property; Felony Criminal Damage to Property; Felony Theft; and Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct.

On Feb. 9, a man entered the Nativity of Our Lord Parish on S. Oneida Street and stole a crucifix. He used the crucifix to smash a digital sign outside Fox 11 on Lombardi Avenue.

The man got away and drove off in a blue car.

Brendan McSweeney was arrested in Wausau later that day. Police said he caused a disturbance.

Ashwaubenon officers learned McSweeney, a Chicago man, had been wearing the same clothing as the suspect in the church theft and Fox 11 damage. He was also driving a blue car.

Ashwaubenon officers received a tip Monday morning from someone who knows McSweeney. That tipster said McSweeney had been exhibiting bizarre behavior.

McSweeney is awaiting an appearance in Marathon County for his arrest in Wausau.

He will be held on the referred charges in Brown County.

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PREVIOUS REPORT:

Officers are searching for a crucifix-wielding man who smashed a digital sign outside a local television station.

Ashwaubenon Public Safety officers were called to Nativity of Our Lord Church on S. Oneida Street at 8:45 Friday morning for the report of a man inside the church who was "acting bizarre."

"Actually playing the piano in the church, and that, he lit a cigarette while he was in there and a person did confront him," Captain Jody Crocker tells Action 2 News. "Ultimately did end up stealing one of the crucifixes" -- a processional crucifix on a metal rod.

"It's a quite large crucifix; it's probably between four and five feet long and he took that, got in his car and left," said Crocker.

Police believe it's a blue Ford Focus or Ford Fusion.

"The next stop that we know that he made was in front of WLUK on Lombardi Avenue where he proceeded to start smashing out the front of their sign with this crucifix," Crocker said.

The man ran off across Lombardi Ave. and through a yard. He drove off in his blue car.

Police believe the man is 25 to 30 years old.

If you have any information on this man, call Ashwaubenon Public Safety at 920-492-2995.

To remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at (920) 432-STOP.



 
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