WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WJW) – A man is accused of breaking into a Willoughby church and causing a lot of damage.
According to a police report, it was about 2 a.m. on Saturday, when a triggered alarm called officers to the Immaculate Conception Church on Euclid Avenue. When police arrived, they say, they found Eric Beck, 30, of Painsville inside the church, holding a broken handle to a shovel and bleeding from his right hand. Police say, Beck ran out of the church but was quickly taken into custody.
According to officers on the scene, Beck was “highly intoxicated.”
Officers say he came into the church’s 24/7 chapel. He damaged the chapel and then got into the main area of the church, and caused damage there, too, all while leaving a trail of blood, according to the report.
According to the report, Beck attempted to light the carpet on fire using a bottle of hand sanitizer.
And, outside of the church, police say they found a large statue of the Virgin Mary knocked over.
“It’s a holy place where we come to worship and to be in contact with God and where Jesus resides and the blessed sacrament and to have our most holiest place desecrated like this, is very disturbing,” Father Mike Troha, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Willoughby told FOX 8.
Beck was charged with breaking and entering, vandalism, and arson. He is currently in the Lake County Jail on a $50,000 bond.