Man arrested in connection with arson and vandalism at churches

A 25-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a series of arson and vandalism attacks at churches around Southern California, authorities said Saturday.

Christian Michael Garcia was arrested Thursday by a special team of law enforcement officials dubbed the House of Worship Task Force. The group includes investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section and Pasadena’s fire and police departments.

Vandals also used green spray paint to deface a statue of an angel outside the Pasadena church and to write the words “Jehovah Lives” and an Old Testament verse, 2 Kings 19:35, about the killing of Assyrians: “And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.”

The same verse was spray-painted at Ancient Church of the East Mar Shaleeta Parish, an Assyrian church in San Fernando, in a November 2016 incident that the Assyrian American Assn. of Southern California called a hate crime.

Police in February 2017 found similar graffiti at three West Covina churches: Christ Lutheran Church, St. Christopher Catholic Church and West Covina Christian Church.

Strikes me as a bit odd…