Last Friday, a man entered a church outside of Chicago with the intent to steal several valuable items. When the burglar ran into a priest who was there working late, he immediately punched the cleric in the face.
According to police, the male suspect entered the church hoping to steal a computer, printer and TV from the church, WBBM-TV reported.
Father Matthew Compton, the priest who was working late that night at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, told police that he ran into the intruder on the upper level of the church. He walked up to the man, who had moved an air conditioner unit to get into the church, and confronted him.
“I asked ‘Who are you, and what are you doing here,’ and that’s when he punched me in the side of the head and scraped downward to here,” Compton told WBBM, pointing to where the man punched him.
But even though the man injured him, took his wallet and stole from his parish, the priest walked away from the incident simply hoping that the suspect would learn God’s message of forgiveness and grace.
“Despite this, I forgive him,” Fr. Compton said. “He’ll hopefully have a long life in front of him and will use it for good. He’s a son of God, and God wants good for him — I hope he realizes that.”
Not only did the suspect assault the priest, but he also stole the items he went in for, with the help of an accomplice. Shortly after leaving the church, the suspect made several purchases on Fr. Compton’s credit cards.
Unfortunately, the attack was not caught on camera, but surveillance cameras caught some footage of the priest trying to stop the attacker from fleeing the church.
Police have yet to find the suspect, and they are asking people to be on the lookout for him. If you live in the Chicago area and recognize the suspect, call the detectives on the case at 312-747-8730 or message them at cpdtip.com.