Catholic priest arrested for vandalism

Eusebio Martinez // File Photo

A priest with the Brownsville Catholic Diocese has been arrested on criminal charges.

Father Eusebio Martinez, the reverend of Holy Family Catholic Church in Edinburg, was just charged with criminal mischief by a McAllen Municipal Judge.

Lt. Joel Morales told Action 4 News Father Martinez surrendered to their officers around 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

According to reports, Father Martinez was allegedly caught on tape drilling holes in a family's car tires.

Action 4 News Reporter Veronica Gallegos has been investigating this story for nearly a week.

She spoke exclusively with the family bringing charges against Father Martinez.

The Villanueva family told Action 4 News he's caused thousands of dollars of damage to their property.

On Thursday, the Judge ordered Father Martinez to stay away from "the Martin Villanueva family and their vehicle".

His bond was set at $2,000 dollars, and he will be released from jail on a personal recognizance bond.

If convicted, he faces up to six months in county jail. It's unknown if more charges will be filed.

RAW VIDEO: Priest Caught on Tape

Statement from the Diocese of Brownsville

Father Eusebio Martinez, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Edinburg, was charged today with a class B misdemeanor of criminal mischief. Father Martinez denies the accusations and maintains his innocence.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores has placed the priest on administrative leave until the matter is resolved. In the interim, Msgr. Gustavo Barrera, Dean of the McAllen/Edinburg Deanery, will administer the parish.

We ask for prayers and for a speedy resolution to this matter.