Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Roxbury. Photo via historicboston.org
A Jamaica Plain woman was in court Friday to face charges claiming she stormed into a Roxbury church earlier this year and destroyed irreplaceable relics by throwing them at worshippers.
Henrietta Egbuonu, 26, is accused of malicious destruction of property over $250, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a police officer, and causing injury to a church over $5,000, according to District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
Boston Police responded to the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church on the morning of Jan. 2, for what was initially reported as a fight. Upon their arrival, they were informed that a woman inside the church was throwing religious statues at churchgoers.
Inside the church, officers encountered Egbuonu as she walked down the center aisle brandishing a three-foot tall statue, prosecutors said. She ignored officers’ commands to set the statue down as she walked towards them, then hurled the statue, striking one officer in the arm, prosecutors said.
None of the parishioners was seriously injured, but church staff informed police that multiple priceless antique statues had been destroyed.
Egbuonu was transported from the scene to Boston Medical Center, where she was held for evaluation and treatment. She was then summonsed to court.
Judge Kathleen Coffey released Egbuonu on her own recognizance.She will return to court on Nov. 15.
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