July 27, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A fundraiser to replace two religious statues that were destroyed in an apparent anti-Catholic hate crime outside a Forest Hills church earlier this month has raised more than $20,000.
The funds will go toward the purchase of two new statues after the existing ones outside Our Lady of Mercy parish were smashed to pieces during the early morning hours of July 17.
The 84-year-old statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese the Little Flower were determined to be damaged beyond repair.
A GoFundMe was launched by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, to replace them and it has raised more than $20,800 in the six days since the fundraiser was created.
The Knights of Columbus hopes to raise at least $25,000 via the GoFundMe. The parish is also accepting donations directly at its rectory, located at 70-01 Kessel St.
Police, meanwhile, are still looking for the woman who knocked down and destroyed the statues, which have stood outside the church since it opened.
The NYPD believes the suspect is a woman in her mid-20s with a medium complexion and average build. She was wearing all black clothing at the time of the vandalism.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @NYPDTips.