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5 Charged With Felony Vandalism for Defacing Junipero Serra Statue in San Rafael

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) -- Five people arrested for damaging and tearing down a statue of Saint Junipero Serra last month at the Mission San Rafael Arcángel now face felony vandalism charges.

The vandals joined a group of 40 to 50 protesters Oct. 12 at Saint Raphael's Catholic Church at 1104 Fifth Ave in San Rafael. They broke from the group's planned protest to spray red paint on the statue before pulling it off its pedestal.

San Rafael police said officers monitored the planned protest and had worked with the Archdiocese of San Francisco to develop a response. Protesters had shared information on the protest via social media to coincide with Indigenous Peoples Day, recognized by those who object to Columbus Day commemorations.

The suspects were identified as Ines Shiam Gardilcic, a 40-year-old Oakland resident, Victoria Eva Montanopena, a 29-year-old Oakland resident, Melissa Aguilar, a 36-year-old Novato resident, Mayorgi Nadeska Delgadillo, a 36-year-old San Rafael resident and Moira Cribben Van de Walker, a 25-year-old San Anselmo resident.

San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone issued a statement Friday saying in part "Let us hope that this prosecution will nonetheless contribute to putting an end to attacks on all houses of worship."

The incident resulted in an estimated $10,000 damage. Each of those charged faces a single felony count but none of the five is being charged with a hate crime.

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Arrested in Vandalism, Toppling of Junipero Serra Statue at San Rafael Church

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