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Sunday, June 16 News

Pokémon Go players find naked woman vandalizing Westport church

WESTPORT, Conn. — “Pokemon Go” led two men into a shocking situation Wednesday afternoon.

While playing the popular mobile game sweeping the nation, the men were led into the prayer garden of St. Luke’s Church in Westport on July 13 where they found an unidentified naked woman ripping apart the grounds.

The woman threw a statue of the Virgin Mary onto the ground, pulled lights out of the garden, turned over benches and threw garbage from her car into the pond, Sister Maureen Fleming said. The woman also put garbage in the baptismal pond inside the church’s indoor gathering space. Fleming called 911 immediately.

Police committed the 40-year-old Bridgeport resident to Norwalk Hospital for evaluation, Lt. David Farrell said. He said the woman was acting irrationally and police were more focused on getting her help for a likely medical, medication-related or mental illness problem than to make an arrest.

The investigation is currently open and police will follow up with the woman to determine whether the incident resulted from a medical or mental-health issue. If they determine her actions were intentional, charges could be possible but police believe that is unlikely, Farrell said.

Damage done to the church is “all very fixable,” Fleming said. Police helped clean up the damage when they arrived, but the garden will still need new lighting, its fountain fixed and repair to the hand of the statue, which was imported from Italy.

Fleming’s office overlooks the garden, but she had been out for two hours aiding a refugee family that the church is helping to sponsor when the woman arrived.

“We all feel so sorry for this poor woman,” Fleming said. “Whatever drove her to this, she really snapped and that’s very disconcerting - that if I’d been here maybe I could have helped before it happened.”

LWeiss@hearstmediact.com / @LauraEWeiss16

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