A man accused of vandalizing churches as part of 15 different counts of criminal mischief was released without bail Thursday, due to New York City’s cashless bail laws.
Juan Velez, 28, was arrested by the New York City Police Department Warrants Squad on a total of 15 incidents of criminal mischief. Three of the incidents involved churches, including the city’s historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Velez was let go without bail, in compliance with New York City’s cashless bail laws.
Video footage shows Velez throwing a wrench through the window of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and fleeing the scene. The cathedral is the residence of Timothy Cardinal Dolan, a prominent Catholic prelate.
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York told Fox News Digital that three people – two staff members and a priest who also live there – were inside the residence at the time, but Dolan was not. The spokesperson said that no one was hurt at the time.
Investigators later revealed that they suspect Velez is also behind two more incidents, which occurred on Saturday.
In the first incident, the suspect approached All Saints Episcopal Church on East 60th Street around 11 a.m. He allegedly ripped a flag outside the building and damaged the wooden front doors before fleeing.
Hours later, around 9:50 p.m., he threw “an unknown object” at an outer glass door at an Archdiocese of New York building located on First Avenue, police said. He then allegedly grabbed the item he had used and left the area.
More than 100 crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), pro-life organizations and churches have been attacked, some more than once, since the May 2 leak of the U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
According to a list updated October by the Family Research Council (FRC), a Christian nonprofit, at least 38 churches across the country have been firebombed, smashed, ransacked or vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti and threatening messages since the May 2 leak.
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.