Bucks County man arrested in church arson, BB gun shooting

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Thursday, June 11, 2015
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A man was arrested in a series of crimes in Bucks County.

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- A man has been arrested in a series of crimes over the past few months in Bucks County.

Police say 33-year-old John Serina of Levittown is responsible for several crimes including burning a church, vandalizing a school, slashing car tires, and shooting a BB gun.

Police say Serina, a convicted felon, has confessed to a string of vandalism in his neighborhood including slashing 30 tires in April, vandalizing a Walt Disney Elementary School and Pinewood Pool, and firebombing the Restoration Church around the corner from his house.

"He didn't say why. He didn't have a good explanation. He just going over his life and his unhappiness in life," Falls Township Police Lt. Henry Ward said.

"I say hi to him every day. I walk my grandchildren past his house and he waves and says hi to me every day. I just can't believe it was him who was doing all this," neighbor Kim O'Brien said.

Police say Serina has been on their radar screens since the church fire on April 19th where the suspect allegedly burned a cross out front and threw a firebomb inside causing thousands of dollars' worth of damage.

Serina reported that fire, but cops say his story didn't add up.

"It's a big relief on our end. We felt bad for the citizens who had their tire slashed. Insurance doesn't cover that," Ward said.

"There is forgiveness in this world. We as a church body forgive him for what's he done, even though it's been a huge headache," Restoration Church Pastor Ross Manders said.

Prior to being arrested, Serina, according to police, fired a BB gun three times at man. Police say he did not hit the man, but damaged a parked car.

Reaction in the neighborhood is strong as many expected John Serina was responsible for the vandalism.

"This has been going on for two months now. God knows what else he's been up to. I hope he stays there for a long time," neighbor James Henderson said.

In 2008, police say he was arrested for kidnapping two juveniles from the township at gunpoint.

He spent five years in state prison and is currently on parole for that incident until 2025.

Serina is only being charged with the church arson as of now.

Police say they have a total of 52 victims involved in all of the crimes and will take a bit longer to get all the paperwork and charges together.