New York News
Deacon attacked and robbed inside church
NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Glover Memorial Baptist Church is a lovely house of worship in Ocean Hill, where 80 or a 100 people crowd the pews on Sunday to pray together: fellowship and love in a rough and tumble neighborhood.
But sometimes the neighborhood intrudes.
"It has gotten to the point where you are going to rob houses of worship, you have no respect for God anymore?" said Rev. Stephanie Bathea, of Glover Memorial Baptist Church.
A man working in the basement of the church recently was just finishing up and leaving when he was approached by a man who asked for money, and then he stopped asking.
"The gentleman came in, punched him in the face a few times, then the second one came in and they hit him over the head with the back of a chair and they laid him out on the floor," Bathea said.
"This is senseless, this is a place of rescue, this is a place of safety, it's a place where you come to fellowship," said Bishop Gerald Seabrook, of the Brooklyn Clergy Task Force.
The victim was robbed, beaten unconscious and hospitalized.
Police are looking for two men.
The first is a male black, 17-19 years old, 5'8" tall130 -135 pounds, and this is the most distinctive part, he has a tattoo of a skull on the right side of his neck.
He was wearing a black baseball style cap with an image of a bird on the front.
There was a second suspect as well, about the same age and size.
Now the church must do what does not come naturally: protect itself.
"You will get caught. We're putting 100 African-American men out on the street, so if you come here you are going to have safety," Seabrook said.
"It's bad enough that you have actually taken over our communities, with guns, drugs, and violence, but now you want to take over houses of worship? We're not going to let this happen," Bathea said.
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