Stolen SUV crashes into Woonsockets 1st Catholic church - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Stolen SUV crashes into Woonsockets 1st Catholic church

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By: Alexandra Cowley

A stolen SUV crashes into the first Catholic Church in Woonsocket causing extensive damage. The damage is the latest misfortune to hit the St. Charles Church. Last February, the original copper railings on the steps to the church were ripped right from the concrete. Early Wednesday morning, a wild police chase ended with a stolen SUV plowing right into the side of it.

St. Charle's Borromeo Catholic church in Woonsocket doesn't look very welcoming. The side entrance is blocked by fencing and police tape. Chunks of stone and granite from the door is in piles on the ground.

"I think they were young people and I don't know what was going on with them, but I think they're problematic," said Father Gerald Faineance.

Father Faineance got a call from police early Wednesday morning explaining the chaos that took place. Winsock police were in pursuit of a stolen SUV when they tried to pull it over. The driver took off at nearly 75 miles an hour before losing control. The SUV crashed into a parked car and slammed into the church.

"I guess an SUV going at 75 miles an hour can do something like that, but it is incredible that this granite church was partially destroyed at least the door, the doorway yes," said Father Finnegan.

Jeffrey Forrest lives across the street and was woken up by the commotion.

"I thought it was thunder, you know what I'm saying and it just was like boom, so I didn't know it was a crash until I came out this morning,"said Forrest.

After crashing into the church, the three suspects in the SUV tried to make a run for it. One was caught,  the other two are still on the loose.

It's another disappointment for Father Finnegan who recently dealt with the theft of the church's original copper railings. Now he's trying to figure out how he'll pay for the church's only handicapped entrance.

"I don't know yet, there's insurance, but the car was stolen so that's going to be a problem," said Father Finnegan.

This is the 2nd time a car has crashed into the church, it happened two years ago. A restoration masonry company is expected to assess the damage on Monday.

Services will continue over the weekend, but until that side door is fixed, the church's handicapped will not have access.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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