Man arrested in Wyandanch church arson

A man was arraigned Wednesday for allegedly setting a Wyandanch church on fire days after Christmas. Suffolk police arrested 50-year-old Wendell Gerald, of Wyandanch, after a three-month investigation.

News 12 Staff

Apr 3, 2008, 2:20 AM

Updated 5,956 days ago

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A man was arraigned Wednesday for allegedly setting a Wyandanch church on fire days after Christmas.
Suffolk police arrested 50-year-old Wendell Gerald, of Wyandanch, after a three-month investigation. They say surveillance video at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church showed a man setting fire to donated food or clothing on Dec. 30 before walking away.
The church's pastor is shocked at Gerald's arrest. "It's a very sad moment," Father William Brisotti said of Gerald, who used to volunteer at the church. "He was around on the day after the fire. I actually found him inside the building at one time. He had no reason to be inside the burned-out building."
The flames severely damaged the church rectory, food pantry and community outreach center, which served about 1,000 homeless and low-income residents each month. The 75-year-old church has been relying on donations from the community.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal


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