Man enters plea in church vandalism, assault

Ottawa County
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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who allegedly vandalized a church, left firecrackers around it and then threatened two parishioners has entered a plea in four felony counts.

On Tuesday, Anthony Lee Wabindato pleaded guilty but mentally ill to 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.

In December, he was arrested 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.

In a previous court hearing, 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, but was OK. When police arrived, Wabindato also allegedly threatened them. They used a Taser on him.

In December, his mother told News 8 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.

Wabindato is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 28.

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