Rantz: Two Seattle-area churches vandalized, one story keeps getting stranger

Jun 30, 2022, 3:38 PM | Updated: Jul 1, 2022, 8:51 am

St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue wasn’t the only church to be vandalized after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. St. Anthony Parish in Renton was also targeted. Both the FBI and the Department of Justice are aware of the suspected hate crimes.

The Renton church was targeted this week. A spokesperson for the church says the campus was “covered with spray paint” and the “beautiful stained glass windows at St. Anthony’s were broken.”

The two alleged hate crimes are not believed to be connected at this time.

Bellevue church vandalism gets confusing

Bellevue Police arrested 31-year-old Maeve Nota in connection with the alleged vandalism and assault at St. Louise.

King County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Casey McNerthney confirms Nota refused to leave her cell for a first appearance in front of a judge, which means the suspect is still in custody.

“Because Nota waived the right to appear, the court did not address bail arguments,” McNerthney said via email.

But given the messages left on the church campus, it’s unclear if the alleged vandalism is tied directly to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, though it occurred in the context of left-wing, pro-abortion violence against pregnancy centers that don’t offer abortion and churches.

Nota is accused of leaving a number of anti-Christian messages on the church. They include, according to police, “women haters,” “rot in your fake [expletive],” “abusers,” “kid [expletive],” “we hate women,” “kid groomers,” and “we hate gay people.”

Nota is transgender, but it’s not clear if she’s a biological man or a biological woman. Some reports identify her as a man and one source said she’s a biological female. But other reporting, including from independent journalist Andy Ngo, reports she’s a biological male known previously under a different name. The King County Jail roster lists her name as Maeve Nota.

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Was she having a mental health crisis?

Nota may have been experiencing a mental health crisis at the time of the incident.

“The suspect, later identified as Maeve J. Nota (DOB: 07/26/91), who was facing away from my vehicle upon my approach, noticed the lights, turned, and immediately charged at my patrol vehicle,” an officer wrote in an incident report. “Nota ran directly to the front of the vehicle and, with obvious intent to cause damage, violently swung the pink backpack they were carrying and hit [the] passenger side of the front windshield. ”

The officer says he then approached Nota with his taser pointed at her chest.

“Nota lifted her arms in the air, at which point I noticed she blood running down the side of her left arm and a fresh cut running vertically up her forearm. Nota then complied and went down to the ground, putting her hands out to the side. I commanded Nota to remain on the ground and waited for additional units to arrive,” the officer wrote.

“Hysterical behavior”

She then began to act erratically, according to the report.

“While waiting for aid, and throughout our contact at the initial scene, Nota would not calm down despite our numerous attempts to verbally deescalate,” the officer wrote. “She was crying hysterically, yelling obscenities, and refused to identify herself. At one point, when in the seated position, Nota threw herself to the ground and began rolling down the small grass hill in the front yard of an adjacent house.”

Nota was taken to Overlake Hospital where the officer says her “hysterical behavior continued” to the point where a doctor had to sedate her.

Pregnancy clinic in Lynnwood vandalized with pro-abortion rights messages

FBI involvement?

After a slow response to a surge in left-wing violence against pregnancy centers and churches, the FBI has been more involved in investigations.

A spokesperson for the FBI said the Seattle field office is aware of the incident in Bellevue, and would help in the investigation should the police department ask for assistance. Bellevue PD has not asked for assistance at this time.

The Department of Justice is also aware of the incident and while they do not speak about current investigations, explained the steps it takes concerning hate crime prosecutions.

“Speaking generally, in the hate crimes arena, we work closely with the FBI, local police, and local prosecutors to determine whether a defendant should be prosecuted in state or federal court,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “We need to determine whether the evidence establishes a violation of federal law.  Things considered include the conduct, the statutes and penalties that are available for state vs federal prosecution, and the opportunity for the defendant to have the more rigorous federal supervision following any period of incarceration.”

In Nota’s case, a judge found probable cause to charge her with a hate crime and assault in the fourth degree. King County prosecutors expect to receive additional documents from detectives before filing charges.

“We plan to act with urgency when the case is referred to us,” McNerthney said.

There have been no arrests in the Renton investigation.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Two Seattle-area churches vandalized, one story keeps getting stranger