Man charged in church vandalism, assault

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who allegedly vandalized a church, left firecrackers around it and then threatened two parishioners has been charged with four felony counts.

Anthony Lee Wabindato, 32, of the White Cloud area, was arraigned Monday on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, a count of resisting or obstructing police and a count of malicious destruction of property between $1,000 and $20,000.

He was arrested Sunday morning at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Catholic Parish in Grand Haven. Authorities say he went into the church before Mass and vandalized it, breaking a TV, and left firecrackers around the inside and outside of the building. The firecrackers were never lit.

Before Wabindato’s arraignment, a detective told a judge that Wabindato wasn’t wearing a shirt or shoes at the time of the incident. He testified Wabindato told two parishioners that he would kill them with a stick from a chair he broke.

He allegedly attacked one of the workers, who fought him off and is OK. When police arrived, Wabindato also allegedly threatened them. They used a Taser on him.

Appearing in a Grand Haven courtroom via video feed Monday afternoon, Wabindato was restless. He sat for only a few minutes before starting to pace. At one point, while the judge was listing one of the assault charges, Wabindato interrupted, saying, “I did no such thing.”

Bond was set at $50,000 cash/surety. If Wabindato were to post bond, he would be required to undergo a mental health evaluation before being released.

His mother told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday that he has a history of mental health problems and using meth. Officers who responded to the church said they thought he was under the influence of something.

Police say he doesn’t appear to have any connection to the church.

The assault charge is a four-year felony, the resisting charge a two-year felony and the vandalism charge a five-year felony.

—24 Hour News 8’s Brady Gillum contributed to this report.

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