Authorities have released the statement of a man charged with vandalizing a historic statue of Jesus Christ at St. Patrick Cathedral as to why he did it.

A man knocked down ... and essentially destroyed ... a 90-year-old statue of Jesus Christ inside of the equally historic St. Patricks' Cathedral near downtown El Paso. His reason, according to an El Paso Police Department report, was because the statue was "the wrong color".

Witnesses saw the man, identified as Isaiah Cantrell, vandalize the statue and reported it to St. Pat's staff members. Cantrell ran from the church, being pursued by staff members, and the commotion caught the attention of a passing El Paso Police officer. He stopped to investigate and initially arrested Cantrell for possession of marijuana.

According to a report by KTSM:

While being questioned, Cantrell told police that he went into the church to repent. Upon further questioning, Cantrell said that the statue was the wrong color. He told the officer that Jesus was Jewish, so the statue should have a darker skin color, the affidavit stated. - KTSM

The KTSM report adds that the suspect later denied doing any damage to the statue and said that it "fell on its own".

Construction on St. Patrick Cathedral began in 1914 and the cathedral was officially dedicated in 1917. It was officially christened "St. Patrick Cathedral" in 1913 by the  Daughters of Erin. The church has the rare distinction of being the site where a genuine, canonized saint was ordained. San Pedro de Jesus Maldonado received that honor at St Pat's on January 25, 1918. (

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