Arrest made after series of vandalism incidents in Philadelphia

A Philadelphia man is facing vandalism charges after several rock throwing incidents that caused significant damage at several city churches.

Listen 0:42
Frank Vanore speaking at a podium

File photo: Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore speaks at a press conference. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!

Haneef Cooper has been charged with four incidents including vandalism at the Shrine of St John Neumann on Girard Avenue Monday night, where rocks were thrown through the window.

“The areas that were broken, it’s going to take extensive work to repair,” said the church’s Father Michael Cunningham.

Several stained-glass windows were broken at the shrine with damage estimated at $20,000. Cooper has also been charged with vandalizing Mother Bethel AME Church and the Science History Museum at Third and Chestnut streets.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

He’s being charged in multiple incidents, and police are looking at video in six more cases to find probable cause, according to Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore.

Cooper has a history of vandalism arrests and convictions going back to 2011, including throwing a can through a window at Philadelphia City Hall in 2013 and breaking a series of kiosks at the Philadelphia Parking Authority offices on Filbert Street.

Cooper was arrested Thursday night by SEPTA police at the Frankford Transportation Center and police believe he used public transportation to travel to and from the sites he vandalized.

Police do not have a motive for the incidents.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal