Suspect arrested after vandalism at church, cross-throwing allegations

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By Bobby Block

Signal Staff Writer

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested a man Thursday morning on suspicion of breaking into a church, vandalizing the property, throwing crosses at passing vehicles and then climbing on a school bus, according to local law enforcement officials. 

SCV Sheriff’s respond to the Church of the Nazarene after receiving reports of a break-in. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Law enforcement became involved after deputies and firefighters responded to reports of an arson at the Church of the Nazarene on The Old Road.

While firefighters found no evidence of a fire, sheriff’s deputies determined a break-in and vandalism occurred.

At the same time, California Highway Patrol officers received reports of a nearly naked man — clad only in underwear — running through traffic on the southbound lanes of Interstate 5, near the Calgrove Boulevard exit.

SCV Sheriff’s arrested one suspect in connection with the incident. September 12, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal

The man then began throwing wooden crosses at passing vehicles while screaming at their drivers, according to a CHP spokesman. 

The man then reportedly began climbing onto a stopped school bus. It is not known if there were children on board, according to CHP officials.

The man’s antics caused traffic to stop across all lanes. There were no injuries reported and no vehicles damaged.

SCV sheriff’s deputies apprehended the suspect, who was believed to be involved in both the traffic disruption, as well as a suspected burglary at the Church of the Nazarene.

A man allegedly entered church property and vandalized several rooms within the facility, including a Sunday school classroom, according to Josh Johnson, a pastor at the church. “He threw a chair through a window, broke light fixtures and wrote messages on chairs in chalk,” said Johnson.

Anyone interested in the church cleanup effort or replacing the children’s supplies that were destroyed can contact the church at 661-259-5272.

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