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Volunteers work to get damaged Portland church ready for Christmas


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Dozens of volunteers gathered Christmas Eve with hammers and 2-by-4s to repair a Portland church that authorities said was extensively damaged when a man intentionally drove through the doors.

The workers wanted to get the Southeast Asian Vicariate Church of Our Lady of Lavang ready for holiday services.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Portland police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley says a 35-year-old man Hieu John Phung, intentionally rammed his Acura MDX into and through the church early Monday.

Police say officers responded around 12:15 a.m. and found extensive damage to the outside and interior.

Burley said Phung later called 911 to report he was the person responsible for plowing the car into the building.

Burley said he did not immediately know the suspect’s motive. Officers arrested the man without incident.

Records show Phung was booked into the Multnomah County jail on suspicion of first-degree criminal mischief.

Burley said an investigation into the incident is underway.

The northeast Portland church draws Vietnamese Catholics from across the Portland area each week.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive,

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