Cops: Man decapitates Jesus statue, cites Ten Commandments

Vandalized concrete statue of Jesus at Sacred Heart Catholic church in Charleston, S.C.

CBS affiliate WCSC

CHARLESTON, S.C. - A man arrested for decapitating a church lawn statue of Jesus Christ says he did it because "the second or first commandment" forbids public displays of men and women, police in Charleston, S.C. say.

Charles Short, 38, was arrested on Sunday, June 15 after admitting to police that he beheaded the statue of Jesus outside the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Charleston, The Post and Courier reports.

CBS affiliate WCSC
Authorities charged 38-year-old Charles Short with malicious injury to real property.

He reportedly told police the Ten Commandments forbid the public display of any type of person, including Jesus, according to CBS affiliate WCSC.

An excerpt of the King James Bible version of The Second Commandment reads: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath..."

A diocese spokeswoman for Sacred Heart told the station the 6-foot concrete statue of Jesus represents Christ's love for humanity - and now a nearly $5,000 repair bill.

Just last week, someone hacked off the heads and hands of another statue of Christ and a child outside the church, a police report stated, according to The Post and Courier. The marble statues had been outside the church since 1996. Police are investigating any possible connection.

Short was being held Monday on $2,130 bail, charged with malicious injury to real property.