New suspect photos released in Ft. Worth church vandalism

MAN SAYS HE'S INNOCENT IN CHURCH ARSON CASE

It's still surreal; the notion that at least two people spent more than eight hours this weekend trashing a 130-year-old church.

"You really have to wonder what’s going on in someone’s life, in someone’s head, in someone’s heart," says Rev. Dr. Fritz Ritsch, pastor of St. Stephen Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth.

Thursday, Ritsch showed News 8 the damage that has yet to be repaired. Room after room has broken windows, paint on the walls and evidence of fires. The damage was discovered around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, but Ritsch says video evidence shows the suspects had been there since 8 p.m. Saturday.

He says he's been touched by how many people have stopped by to show their support in the light of the vandalism. But perhaps the most surprising person to show up was Jonathan Jimenez.

"I’m innocent," says the 21-year-old Fort Worth man. "I don't have anything to do with it.

"I went to the church, letting them know they have the wrong guy."

Jimenez was named by fire officials this week as someone they were investigating for the damage. He was picked up Sunday morning nearby for unrelated warrants. But police told News 8 Thursday there's not enough evidence to link him to the crime.

"It’s embarrassing," Jimenez says. "I can’t go nowhere."

Police have since released pictures of who they're now calling suspects in the case. The images were taken from surveillance video from inside the church as the crime happened. One man wears a mask; the other shows his face.

"That’s not me. That’s like older guys," Jimenez says, adding he hopes they catch the people responsible.

Ritsch says what Jimenez did by coming to the church shows character.

"I know there’s still evidence coming but when I look at the pictures of the culprits, I don’t see Jonathan Jimenez in there, at all,' he says.

So Ritsch and his congregation will wait and pray that the people responsible will right their wrongs and come forward.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment