A 34-year-old man from Middletown was arrested in connection with multiple acts of vandalism at houses of worship in the township, authorities said.
Natalee A. Hamilton, 34, was charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, Middletown Police Chief R. Craig Weber said.
The suspect smashed out church and other worship hall windows with rocks in separate incidents between June 1 and July 26, Weber said. Locations victimized included Westminster Presbyterian Church, New Monmouth Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, he said.
“This series of crimes committed against houses of worship is deeply disturbing, especially as it occurred during the pandemic when so many people have relied upon their faith for comfort and support in these very difficult times.” Weber said.
The vandalism first occurred at Westminster Presbyterian Church on June 1, Weber said.
New Monmouth Baptist Church was vandalized on July 14, the police chief said.
All three houses of worship were attacked on July 19, Weber said.
This past Sunday morning, Westminster Presbyterian Church was vandalized a third time -- while parishioners were still at church, according to Weber.
Detective First Class Darrin Simon is leading the investigation.
Anyone with information related to the vandalism is urger to call the Middletown Police Detective Bureau at 732-615-2120.
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