RCMP have arrested a 26-year-old man after he allegedly drove his sport utility vehicle into a church in Shippagan, New Brunswick late Wednesday night.  

The crash at Saint-Jérôme church on Avenue de l'Eglise occurred at approximately 11 p.m., according to Sgt. Benoit Jolette.

Investigators said the SUV crashed through the church entrance, drove through several rows of pews and came to a stop near the front of the altar, causing extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the church.

Northeast District RCMP arrested 26-year-old Jocelyn Mallet of Shippagan at the scene.  He was taken to a local hospital, treated and released into police custody. No one else was injured.

RCMP say Mallet appeared in Caraquet Provincial Court on Thursday and was charged with mischief over $5000.  Damage to the church was expected to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

He has been sent for 30-day psychiatric evaluation and is scheduled to appear back in court on May 4.