A 34-year-old Santa Ana man seen on surveillance video allegedly slamming his way into a church with a metal pipe was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of vandalizing the church and residence.
Joel Fabian Sandoval was booked on vandalism and vandalism of a place of worship, police said. He was being held without bail, according to jail records.
The suspect allegedly used a large metal pipe to slam his way into the Johnson Chapel AME church at 1306 W. Second St. just before 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
The man clubbed the front doors with the pipe and, once inside, used the pipe to repeatedly strike a set of secondary doors, Bertagna said.
Before he broke into the church, the man attempted to get into a utility shed at the rear of the church and also damaged another door on the side of the church, Bertagna said.
It's unclear what motivated the suspect, Bertagna said.
"He didn't do any damage inside the chapel or didn't take anything," Bertagna said.
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During questioning by detectives he indicated it was not a hate crime, police said. He was not a member of the congregation, police said.
Sandoval is accused of also vandalizing a garage door in the 1500 block of West McFadden Avenue, police said.