The NYPD announced an arrest on Friday afternoon in the vandalism that destroyed a pair of 84-year-old religious statues outside Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills on the morning of July 17.
Police said Jacqueline Nikiena, 23, of Olcott Street was charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and aggravated harassment.
She lives only blocks from where the statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese the Little Flower were destroyed at about 3:30 a.m. outside the Roman Catholic church at 70-01 Kessel St.
The statues had been there since the church opened in 1937. A security video released by police after the incident shows a woman dragging the statues into the street, where they were slammed to the pavement, stomped and smashed with a hammer.
It was estimated that it would cost $12,000 to replace them.
The case is being investigated by the NYPD’s 112th Precinct and the Hate Crimes Unit.