A 21-year-old man is under arrest for allegedly vandalising one of Kodiak’s most historic buildings, Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Cathedral, and many of its contents. A press release from the Kodiak Police Department stated that police arrested Arkimedes Garcia around 20.00 Wednesday as he was exiting the church. Thursday morning, Fr Innocent Dresdow, the Dean of the Holy Resurrection Church, said that the vandal damaged many holy items, stating, “It’s clear from the pattern of destruction that this dear soul is deeply troubled and his anger and his rage appeared to be directed at, frankly God. From the perspective of the Church, he knew exactly which things were holiest. Those were the things that were in absolute disarray”. He said that he removed most holy items from the church to an undisclosed location, for reconsecration.
Fr Innocent said Garcia broke several windows and made his way into the church’s Sanctuary behind the Nave where he not only damaged items, but desecrated them as well, noting, “You can see in the hand crosses, if you look carefully… they’re bent upward. All of the crosses that he just damaged are bent upward in the same pattern, including St Herman’s Monastic Cross, which is the most priceless damage that was done last night. The tabernacle is where the reserved sacraments, the Holy Mysteries, the Body and Blood of Christ are kept. Well, that was on the floor, with the Holy Mysteries and all the holy items that were on the altar were on the floor on both sides. He bled on the holy table, he bled on the back wall, he bled in the church in different places, and on the altar particularly is a major desecration”. Our reporter asked, “So he injured himself?” Fr Innocent replied, “He injured himself, yes”.
Fr Innocent said that even though the church sustained physical damage in the attack, services will go on as planned, stating, “Scheduled services for tonight, at 6 pm, the Akathist to St Herman, will be held as scheduled. We have a clean-up crew coming in at 1 pm. People are welcome to join us from the community. They don’t have to be Orthodox if they want to come and help. We’re essentially trying to go over the floor, chairs, everything to make sure all, the minutest glass shards are out of the floor and items. We have lots of children here and we want to make sure nobody gets hurt”. According to the Kodiak Police Department press release, Garcia emerged from the church “partially unclothed”, but didn’t explain further. Police Chief Ronda Wallace was unavailable for comment. Garcia was booked on four felony counts of burglary and criminal mischief.
11 June 2015
KMXT (Kodiak AK USA)
Alaska Public Media
The OCA official version is here