Police: Suspect ID’d, charges deferred in church assault

Police: Suspect ID’d, charges deferred in church assault

Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson J. Perez delivers the homily at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia April 6, 2020. He reported Aug. 23 that during the 11:00 a.m. Mass there, a lector was punched by someone in the congregation as she left the altar. (Credit: Sarah Webb/CatholicPhilly.com via CNS.)

Police say they have identified a suspect but charges have been deferred in the case of an assault on a woman who had just finished a reading during Mass at a Catholic church in Philadelphia over the weekend.

PHILADELPHIA — Police say they have identified a suspect but charges have been deferred in the case of an assault on a woman who had just finished a reading during Mass at a Catholic church in Philadelphia over the weekend.

Police say the 40-year-old victim was leaving the sanctuary area of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday when she was struck in the face twice by another woman.

Archbishop Nelson Perez wrote on Facebook that the lector received immediate attention and assistance from cathedral staff but didn’t require medical attention

Police said Monday evening that they had identified a suspect “and based on this contact, we have deferred charges at this time.”

Perez called it a “senseless act of aggression” and called such behavior “unacceptable … especially within the confines of a church building and during the celebration of the Holy Mass.”

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