Man charged with vandalizing Maple Grove church

  • Article by: BEN JOHNSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 6, 2013 - 3:54 PM

The man Maple Grove police caught on camera last week throwing eggs and writing anti-homosexual graffiti at Pilgrims United Church has been charged with third-degree damage to property and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Lonny Roseland, a 45-year-old Maple Grove man who uses a wheelchair, told police officers he vandalized the church because of its support of gay marriage, according to a criminal complaint filed on Aug. 5.

Maple Grove police installed a surveillance camera at the church on July 26 that recorded Roseland throwing eggs on July 28. The next day police identified Roseland after canvassing the neighborhood surrounding Pilgrims United with a photograph pulled from the surveillance video. Roseland admitted attacking the church at least four times this summer, each time referencing Bible verses that he interprets as anti-homosexual.

Roseland repeatedly referred to the church as a cult, telling police that “any church that recognizes gays can be married in the eyes of God is not a church but a cult.”

The third-degree damage to property charge is a gross misdemeanor because it’s considered a bias-motivated crime, only the second such crime city attorney Steve Tallen can remember in the last 30 years.

 

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