Priest assaulted in Nancy: the suspect hospitalized in psychiatry

Priest attacked in Nancy the suspect hospitalized in psychiatry

The man suspected of having attacked a priest in his seventies in the city center of Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) on Saturday morning was hospitalized in a psychiatric environment, we learned on Sunday from the Nancy prosecutor.

The defendant, aged 38, had been placed in police custody on the charge of violence aggravated by three circumstances (drunkenness, weapon and religion of the victim) by the police officers of the Nancy police station, François told AFP. Capin-Dulhoste.

After being examined by an expert, he has been hospitalized in a psychiatric environment since Sunday morning, the magistrate said.

His police custody has therefore been lifted but will resume when his state of health allows, he added.

The priest, 74 years old according to the prosecution (the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle had initially mentioned 75 years), was dressed in his cassock when he left his home on Saturday around 7:00 a.m.

He then "crossed in a street of old Nancy a 38-year-old individual who addressed him in these terms: All Catholics are pedophiles", explains the magistrate.

Remarks clearly referring to recent scandals of pedocrime in the Church.

The man then ran towards the priest and struck him "a violent blow on the back of the head with a chandelier he was holding", said Mr. Capin-Dulhoste.

A direct witness of the facts also declared that the defendant, drunk, carried "multiple kicks" in the head of the victim, who fell to the ground, reports the magistrate.

The attacker, who had fled, was “arrested very quickly” by the police.

The priest, who lost consciousness during the attack, was taken care of by the emergency services and taken to the emergency room. His total incapacity for work is not fixed at this time, said Mr. Capin-Dulhoste.

On Saturday, the secretary general of the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle, Julien Le Goff, told AFP that the victim's state of health was "reassuring" at the end of the day.

"The priest did not know his attacker. We trust justice and let it do its job," responded the diocese of Nancy and Toul in a statement.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock/lightpoet

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