Man sought by police after hammer attack on Sunset Park church

Police are looking to identify the man they say destroyed the window of a Sunset Park church with a hammer late last month.
Photo courtesy of NYPD/Google Maps

Police are looking to identify the man who took a hammer to the window of a Sunset Park church late last month.

At approximately 8:15 p.m. on March 31, authorities say the individual approached a religious institution — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — on 60th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, carrying a hammer. Police say the man used that hammer to damage a church window, before fleeing on foot to an unknown location.

No injuries were reported as a result of the crime, deemed both a hate crime and an incident of criminal mischief. The suspect was captured on security camera footage wearing a jacket and a medical face mask.

The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident and, while the exact motivation for the crime is unclear at this time, this isn’t the first time a Sunset Park house of worship has been targeted. Late last year, two neighborhood menorahs were vandalized in possible hate crimes.

In 2023, the task force responded to 669 hate crime incidents and made 360 arrests — up from 608 incidents and 323 arrests in 2022.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.