Friday, August 31, 2018

Vandal who hit OC Buddhist temples arrested

LAT, 8/22/18); Eliza Darcey, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Woman arrested after vandalism at O.C. Buddhist temples; officials urge public to report 'possible hate crimes'
This Kwan Yin statue at Huong Tich Temple in Santa Ana, Orange County, was among those vandalized by a mad woman who also stole contribution boxes (Christina House/LA Times).

A woman was in custody Wednesday in connection with vandalism at Buddhist temples in Orange County, and officials appealed to the public to report more “possible hate crimes” to help them identify other potential suspects.

The vandalism — slashed fingers, chopped hands and other missing parts — has caused at least $60,000 in damage in the last two weeks, according to authorities. And that’s in addition to the theft of donation boxes, floral arrangements and dozens of items of religious decor.

Five temples in Santa Ana have been vandalized, along with two houses of worship in Garden Grove.
The arrest was announced at a news conference at Bao Quang Temple in Santa Ana on Wednesday afternoon, but few details — including the suspect’s name — were released.

Bao Quang Temple
A man visits Bao Quang Temple in Santa Ana, one of several Buddhist temples in Orange County to be vandalized in recent weeks (Christina House/Los Angeles Times).
The question is, is this being done by an isolated individual or is it coordinated by other groups?” asked Andrew Do, chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. He called on elected officials in his district to unite in finding those responsible “for this terrible, terrible act.”

“The statues symbolize the spiritual value that we have as a community. To have them be destroyed in such a systematic manner does great harm to our spirit,” he said.

At the temple, Do stood flanked by Miguel Pulido, mayor of Santa Ana; David Valentin, the city’s police chief; and Tony Rackauckas, Orange County district attorney. All of them pledged their support to find the vandals, with Do saying that “the sooner that crimes are reported, the fresher the evidence and the greater the ability to canvass neighborhoods.”

“This is so, so, so wrong,” said Pulido, citing Santa Ana’s diversity. “This is a gorgeous temple, and to think that someone wants to deface it this way hurts us in our hearts.” The vandalism began Aug. 8, with the... More

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