Washington state Catholic church vandalized with graffiti in suspected hate crime: ‘Woman haters’

Suspect allegedly assaulted staff member at St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington

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Police arrested a 31-year-old man in Washington on Tuesday after authorities said he vandalized a Catholic Church with rocks and graffiti before assaulting an employee. 

The incident, which unfolded during broad daylight hours at St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, is being investigated as a hate crime.

The unnamed suspect reportedly smashed two glass doors with rocks and spray-painted the outside walls with messages that read "woman haters," "religion of hate," "lies" and "sheep."

Police released photos depicting a destroyed glass door and a defaced statue.

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A staff member at the church chased the suspect away, but he was spray-painted across his face in the process. 

One message the suspect spray-painted on the wall of St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington, read: "religion of hate."

One message the suspect spray-painted on the wall of St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington, read: "religion of hate." (FOX13 Seattle)

When officers located the suspect, police said he used a backpack full of spray paint cans to smash the police vehicle before turning himself in.

The suspect damaged glass doors and wrote multiple messages, one of which read: "woman haters." 

The suspect damaged glass doors and wrote multiple messages, one of which read: "woman haters."  (Bellevue Police Department)

Police Capt. Darryl McKinney told FOX13 Seattle that the $10,000 in damages fall under a hate crime statute.

"Obviously, there’s a lot going on in the world," McKinney said. "People are worked up about things. They’re upset, or at least some people are. I think there are some emotions stirred up, and we’re seeing people act how they normally wouldn’t."

A suspect spray-painted graffiti on the St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington, on Tuesday, authorities said.

A suspect spray-painted graffiti on the St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington, on Tuesday, authorities said. (Bellevue Police Department)

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The suspect appeared intoxicated during the arrest and was said to be angry about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week that overturned Roe. v. Wade, investigators told KOMO News.

Police said the suspect was expected to be booked on suspicion of felony assault and a hate crime.