Man charged in vandalization of Harriet Tubman bust at St Catharines church

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Published October 14, 2021 at 2:32 pm

Niagara Police have addressed a man in connection with an October 10 incident that saw a bust of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman get vandalized at the Salem Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church in St Catharines.

Civic officials were furious upon hearing the situation on Monday with many believing it was racially-motivated.

When police identified a suspect from the videotaped incident as Jessie Lohnes-Alanko, 24, of no fixed address, they added, “At this time, there is no indication that the vandalism was a hate motivated crime.”

Lohnes-Alanko was charged with mischief over $5,000 and failure to comply with a probation order.

Tubman is particularly revered in St Catharines as she was an early parishioner of the church, a local resident and, of course, internationally known for her role in the Underground Railroad where she was a key figure in getting African American slaves out of Maryland and smuggled to safety in Canada.

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