Police arrest woman who crashed car into Scientology building

Erin McMurtry
Erin McMurtry

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman is in custody and charged with criminal mischief after police say she crashed her car into the Church of Scientology building at the intersection of Guadalupe Street and W. 22nd Street Monday night. The incident was reported to authorities at 9:00 p.m.

Even though the driver left the scene, police were able to track 31-year-old Erin McMurtry down a few hours later.

Erin McMurtry
Erin McMurtry

Cathy Norman, director of special affairs at the Church of Scientology of Texas, says the crash appeared to be “deliberate,” after staff noticed the car was parked outside for 30 or 40 minutes before it crashed into the building.

The car crashed through the glass front doors, went through the elevator lobby and crashed into furniture. Norman says the car then backed out of the building and then left. “Obviously it’s a real pain how to figure out to board up the front door at 10 o’clock at night. I don’t know why people would treat other people that way,” Norman added.

Police are still trying to determine if McMurtry intentionally crashed into the church.

In a statement received Tuesday evening, Norman said:

Thank God nobody was killed or maimed in this deliberate assault. We are cooperating with law enforcement and it is reassuring that an arrest has been made.

The scene of the crash (KXAN Photo)
The scene of the crash (KXAN Photo)

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