Oklahoma Man Goes Into Catholic Church And Assaults Two Priests, Rips The Tabernacle Off Of The Wall And Steals A Crucifix

A man in Oklahoma went into a Catholic Church and attacked two priests before ripping the tabernacle off of the wall and then stealing a crucifix. He was later taken down by police outside of the Church according to a report:

Enid Police Department officers arrested a 21-year-old Enid man Thursday afternoon after he assaulted two priests while stealing a crucifix from a church, leading to the lockdown of a nearby school.

Sgt. Roberto Norton said officers responded at 3:13 p.m. to an assault at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 110 N. Madison. A witness called police and said a man had assaulted two priests at the church.

Norton said the man, later identified as Victor Munoz, entered the church and began walking toward the tabernacle, pulling it off the wall and onto the ground. A priest stopped Munoz and persuaded Munoz to pray with him.

When a maintenance worker attempted to put the tabernacle back in place, Munoz went into another room, grabbed at crucifix and began swinging it, Norton said. One of the priests attempted to stop Munoz, grabbing him but falling backward. A second priest was struck by the crucifix being swung by Munoz.

“Basically, a guy on drugs came into the church and tried to climb the tabernacle, knocking it over, when he tried to leave, we were in his way and he swung the school mass (processional) cross and me and (the Rev. Mark) Mason,” the Rev. Kelly Edwards, associate pastor, wrote in a St. Joseph Catholic School Facebook post. “I will probably have a bruise on my jaw. (Father) Mason is getting stitches.”

Norton said when police arrived, Munoz was walking away from the church holding the crucifix but then turned toward officers. Norton commanded Munoz to stop, but Munoz did not comply and had a blank look on his face.

The sergeant deployed his Taser, but it had “no effect” on him, Norton said. Norton said Officer Joshua Allison also deployed his Taser, causing Munoz to stumble and fall.

Munoz continued to resist arrest, and kicked Allison, injuring him, prior to being placed into a patrol car.

Norton said one of the priests said Munoz told him he had taken some edibles that day. Norton said earlier Thursday, police received a call about a man leaving Integris Bass Baptist Hospital that was possible high on a controlled dangerous substance.

Norton said officers also spoke with Munoz’s cousin, who told police Munoz had given him two marijuana gummies earlier in the day.

Victor Munoz was arrested on complaints of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery upon a police officer, resisting arrest, public intoxication, a malicious injury to property, theft and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Edwards said Enid police apprehended the suspect and the school was locked down.

“Know that the perpetrator was never near the school or any children,” Edwards said. “Thank you all for responding appropriately and calmly. We are sorry that this happened right at school pickup time.”

Edwards asked the community to pray for Pastor Mason and himself, a witnessing parent and the perpetrator.

“No one plans to do this kind of thing with their life,” Edwards wrote. “Pray also for us as a community, that we have wisdom to know what steps to take next, so that this can continue to be a house of prayer but also a house of safety. The devil may send evil against the Church, but the gates of hell shall not prevail! God is good and will take care of us if we are faithful!

“Please, if you have any questions or would like to talk about it do not hesitate. We are committed to a safe parish and school campus for you and your family.” (source, source)

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