Church in Newport Beach has windows smashed, suspect had been released from jail 5 days ago staff KABC logo
Monday, April 17, 2023
Church in Newport Beach has windows smashed, suspect caught with bat
Police have arrested a man after he allegedly smashed the stain glass windows of a church in Newport Beach. The suspect had been released from jail just five days ago.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Police have arrested a 27-year-old man after he allegedly vandalized a church in Newport Beach, causing between $80,000 to $100,000 worth of damages.

Dramatic images show shattered stained glass windows at Christ Church by the Sea on West Balboa Boulevard.

Police say they found the suspect, Nicolas Briones, across the street from the damaged church with a baseball bat in hand on Saturday morning. Another church was located where police found Briones.

Police say a baseball bat was used to bust out the windows of the church but there's no evidence of a hate crime as of yet.

"To have our beautiful space desecrated like that, it is just mind blowing, and I felt like I had been punched into the gut," said Pastor Paul Capetz of the vandalized church.

The church is the oldest in Newport Beach, Capetz said, and the church does plan on setting up a GoFundMe later in the week.

Court records show that Briones was arrested in Costa Mesa last month and was released just five days ago.

He currently remains in custody following the most recent incident.