If you travel down 5th Ave in Rock Island you are bound to glimpse over at the Sacred Heart statue. The statue of Jesus with his arms open is now lying face down.
On the evening of Easter Sunday, parishioners at Sacred Heart church tell us a man walked up to the 100-year-old statue and pushed and pulled on it until completely knocking it down.
The statue was a gift to the church about 15 years ago from a family whose daughters attended the villa before it was closed down. Parishioner Chris Mandle says it had significance to more than just the church.
“I hear a lot of stories, not so much from parishioners but people who drive by every day,” Mandle says. “I think it was the out-stretched open arms.”
“It just made you feel warm,” Parishioner Judy Clark added. “He was welcoming you.”
The Rock Island Police are reviewing surveillance tape in hopes to find clues that will lead to the arrest of the man responsible for the damage to the statue. The parishioners say they hope someone driving by may have seen the incident and have more information. They are doing their best to stay positive.
“The statue didn’t come down on Good Friday but if Easter tells us anything, we should have hope,” Mandle says.
If you have any information, you are asked to contact the Rock Island Police Department at (309) 732-2677.