Man accused of breaking off head of St. Francis statue

Published: Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.

A man who was denied entry to the St. Francis House homeless shelter broke the head off the namesake statue in front of the facility on South Main Street early Saturday morning, Gainesville police reported.

Thomas Jacob Wilder, 23, of Hampton, was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief, according to an arrest report.

The incident occurred about 1:27 a.m. at the shelter at 413 S. Main St. According to the report, Wilder tried to seek shelter for the night and began rattling on the door when he was refused.

Wilder then broke the head off the granite St. Francis statue in the northwest corner of the facility and threw a piece of the broken statue through a window, the report states. Total damage was estimated at $1,550.

Police reported that Wilder was found across the street from the shelter and said he became upset when he couldn’t sleep at St. Francis House. However, Wilder denied damaging the property.

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