Man “angry at God” drives minivan into church sanctuary

.- A man who said he was angry at God drove a minivan through a Catholic church in Rancho Cordova, California late on Saturday night, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Harold David Zequeda, 36, drove a silver Ford Windstar through St. John Vianney Church.

Witnesses said the driver pulled onto the church’s front lawn and floored the gas pedal. 

The van broke through a set of locked steel doors, and then a second set of heavy wooden doors.  It collided with a 100-pound communion table, which was propelled across the sanctuary.

Eight solid-oak pews bolted to the floor were destroyed.  The car then bounced onto the altar platform, leaving black skid marks across a carpeted area.

The car traveled 50 yards across the large, modern church, slamming into a second set of pews and stopping just short of a statue of Jesus.

Police arrested Zequeda and were able to back the minivan, which only sustained minor damage, out of the church.  No one was injured in the incident.

One witness said the driver had dropped a photograph of several young children and told police he was angry at God.

The church’s pastor, Father Martin Moroney, said he was stunned at what happened. 
"It seemed like a cry for help," Father Moroney said, according to the Sacramento Bee. "I just wish he had cried out in some other way."

The priest was surprised that no religious statues or artwork had been damaged.  In the church vestibule, a smiling statue of St. John Vianney was untouched, even though a flying steel door had damaged a heavy table just nearby.

Father Moroney did not recognize Zequeda as a parishioner.  He said he was glad no one had been hurt or killed. 

"We prayed for the man," he said. "It's our house of worship, but we're a forgiving people, and we have to go on."

Sunday morning Masses, at which parishioners prayed for Zequeda, were held in the nearby church hall.

Zequeda is charged with vandalizing a house of worship, a felony, and driving with a suspended license.  He is being held on $1 million bail.


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