Man lights church cross on fire; jumps from rooftop to rooftop in attempt to evade police

A man climbed a four-story church in Boyle Heights on Wednesday night and lit fire to a cross before jumping from roof to roof in an attempt to evade police.

Dramatic video from SkyFOX shows the unidentified man jumping from rooftop to rooftop not once, but three different times.

SkyFOX was over St. Mary's Catholic Church on South Chicago Street a little after 8:45 p.m. when the man was spotted lighting a cross on fire. 

As Los Angeles Police Department officers waited for the man to come down, the suspect continued to avoid police by jumping from building to building.

The fire on top of the church bell tower appeared to burn out without threat of spreading to the rest of the building.

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The man was eventually placed in LAPD custody.

Officials did not say if he was wanted for additional crimes.

The suspect's identity, nor motive is not yet known as of Thursday afternoon.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles was taking stock Thursday of the damage done to the historic church. 

"The church building incurred some damage, including fire damage to the roof of the bell tower and some broken stained-glass windows, but thankfully no one was in the building at the time," said Archdiocese spokeswoman Itzel Magana. "The parish is currently assessing the extent of the damage."

The parish has been part of the Boyle Heights community for more than a century, Magana said.

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.

CNS contributed to this report.