Friday, December 09, 2022

Man arrested after altercation inside Anaheim church

A man was taken into custody in Anaheim Friday morning after he allegedly stormed into a church while a prayer service was being held and got into an altercation with parishioners.

It happened around 9:45 am at the St. Anthony Claret Church at 1450 E. La Palma Ave.

The man, who police say is homeless, entered the church during the prayer service and began acting erratically and yelling at a woman. A man in the church intervened and asked him to leave, which led to the two men pushing each other.

The altercation spilled outside of the church as parishioners followed, according to the Anaheim Police Department. The man apparently threw himself to the ground before officers arrived on scene, police told KTLA.

Church officials said they do not intend on pursuing charges against the man, but one of the parishioners told police they would like the man to be charged.

The transient man was taken into custody and faces possible charges for disturbance at a place of worship, which is a misdemeanor.

The Diocese of Orange, which the parish belongs to, said no clergy or churchgoers were injured but there was minor damaged to some church equipment.

“The Diocese of Orange remains ever vigilant in maintaining safe spaces of worship throughout our parishes, and we pray for the continued health and safety of all in our communities,” the Diocese said in a statement.

The incident at the church comes just days after a gunman opened fire at a church about 20 miles south in Laguna Woods. One person was killed and several others were injured in that shooting.

Jacob Gallacher, Anaheim Police Department Public Information Officer, said this latest incident highlights the importance of being vigilant and remaining aware of your surroundings.

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