Pittsburgh church vandalized as police continue search for ‘prolific tagger’

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh church is dealing with an act of vandalism just days before Christmas.

“The custodian came into the house and said ‘Father, we have a problem,’” Father Patrick said. He’s been at Holy Assumption of St. Mary Orthodox Church on the South Side for nearly three decades.

Graffiti now adorns the front and back of the church building.

“Parishioners have been furious. The neighborhood community has been furious,” he said. “You know, churches are sacred spaces and, unfortunately, as we know from history, they are often times things that are vandalized.”

The graffiti at St. Mary’s is part of a bigger issue in the city’s South Side and Oakland areas.

On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Police shared video on social media of a “prolific tagger” who uses the tag “A-Chizz.” His tag matches the marks on St. Mary’s.

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding him.

Cleanup at St. Mary’s could be costly. A contractor is scheduled to take a look at the damage Friday.

“That’s a ridiculous waste of money. Money that could be used to feed the poor. It can be used for so many other things,” Patrick said. “Our task is to forgive and keep going. Our task is not to be judging and condemning.”

If you have any information on the vandal, police ask you to call 412-495-6052.

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