American News Feb 19, 2021 4:20 PM EST

BLM protester arrested for Portland cathedral vandalism on Ash Wednesday

A cathedral in Portland was broken into and vandalized on Ash Wednesday by an armed intruder known for previously attending local Black Lives Matter-Antifa protests.

BLM protester arrested for Portland cathedral vandalism on Ash Wednesday
Andy Ngo and Mia Cathell The Post Millennial
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A cathedral in Portland was broken into and vandalized on Ash Wednesday by an armed intruder known for previously attending local Black Lives Matter-Antifa protests.

On Feb. 17 around 3:30 a.m., Portland Police responded to an emergency call regarding a burglary in progress at St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in northwest Portland. A suspect identified as Christopher Lee Colletta, 44, was arrested. He’s accused of vandalism and throwing property outside the historic church’s smashed stained glass windows.

The Post Millennial can report that Colletta previously attended a BLM-Antifa riot in August last year where he was hit with a rubber munition by police at one point.

According to the police report, Colletta wielded a “box cutter type” of blade in the rectory, where a clergyman tried to speak with him. The rector at St. Mary’s Cathedral told the Catholic Sentinel about his interaction with Colletta.

Monsignor Gerard O’Connor says he was awakened by the sound of screaming and was joined by two Portland-area clerics who had spent the night at the rectory after losing power at their parish homes due to the heavy snow storm. He tried to calm the suspect but failed. He met police outside the church.

“The Portland Police get a lot of criticism, but they were uber professional and kind,” he said.

A police K9 unit assisted officers with searching the church and finding Colletta. The suspect allegedly tried to escape through a back exit but was arrested by officers stationed outside.

Colletta was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of felony burglary, felony criminal mischief, interfering with an officer and resisting arrest. Colletta was released the following day on pretrial supervision.

During the height of nightly riots by BLM-Antifa in Portland last year, Colletta took to Facebook to complain that he was hit in the ribs with a rubber munition by police on Aug. 22. That night, hundreds of Antifa rioted outside a police station in southeast Portland and assaulted police.

Colletta was also convicted of felony criminal mischief for an unrelated break-in incident last year. He was only given 18 months probation.

St. Mary’s Cathedral is the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland. The cathedral’s clergy performed the rite of exorcism for the city last year in response to months of riots.

Colletta’s indictment is scheduled for April 15.

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