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Simi Valley church vandalized; suspect caught

A vandalism suspect was arrested after he allegedly broke windows and furniture at the Church of the Living Christ in Simi Valley.

August 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A church vandal is behind bars after being caught in the act at a parish on Royal Avenue in Simi Valley.

Police got a call Wednesday night that a man had broken into the Church of the Living Christ. When officers arrived, they found that man inside breaking windows. There was a brief struggle, and officers used a Taser to subdue him.

"When I saw what had happened, I just felt sick to my stomach and just couldn't believe what had happened. But it's really remarkable how quickly the community just rallied. You know, in a matter of moments they had plywood up there so that nothing further happens," said Joel Pertulla, the church's associate pastor.

The suspect, 34-year-old Bryant Leppard, was treated at a local hospital and arrested. Damage to the church is estimated at $30,000. The motive for the vandalism remains unclear.