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18-year-old charged with hate crime after Catholic church statue damaged

Buffalo police have charged an 18-year-old with a hate crime, accusing him of smashing a statue of Mary with a baseball bat outside an East Side Catholic church.

Kalil Colbert of Buffalo has been charged with third-degree criminal mischief, first-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree aggravated harassment with a hate crime enhancement, Buffalo police said Thursday.

Colbert is accused of pulling a statue of Mary from a marble foundation in a garden outside St. John Kanty Church on Broadway on Tuesday night and then striking it with a bat. The face and hands of the nearly 5-foot-tall fiberglass statue were damaged.

A note with an anti-Catholic message was also left in a parking lot with the damaged statue. The note read, in part, "This building will be destroyed. Stop Worshiping Mary. Worship God. Catholics are a man-made religion."

St. John Kanty officials have said they plan to replace the statue, which was dedicated in 2014.

Colbert is due in Buffalo City Court on Wednesday.

Anti-Catholic note left near Mary statue smashed outside East Side church

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