BALTIMORE (WJZ-TV) — A priest was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint outside a church in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood Friday afternoon. Father Bernie Carman of St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Church has bruises and scrapes, but is doing OK, thankfully.
His parishioners are concerned for him, especially since he has other health issues. The priest is waiting for a new kidney and just had surgery to prepare him for dialysis.
“I did think to myself, right in that moment, ‘Oh God, he could shoot me,’” Carman said. “He could fire this thing.”
Baltimore Police said the attack happened just before 4:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. Father Carman said was getting out of his car in front of the church when a man he doesn’t know came up to him. “(He) ran over to me and said, ‘Give me your wallet,’” Father Carman said. “I said, ‘No.’ He pulled out a gun. He kind of kept it close to him.”
Father Carman said the man hit him on the side of the head with his gun, then a woman came and stole his phone and the man took his wallet. He said while it happened, he fell to the ground and hit his head on a wall outside the church. “I think the full effects of it are just coming through because Sunday night, all of sudden, I felt extremely tired,” Father Carman said.
His parishioners can’t believe it happened.
“It does upset me very much because Father Bernie is a good man who does much good in the world,” parishioner Marie Rippey said. ”We pray for him and now we have this to pray for, too.”
Father Carman said he holds no ill will for his attackers. He just wants them to make better choices. “How about considering a change of life?” Father Carman said. “How about a different career? Because I think it would be, in the end, much better.”
Police have not made any arrests in the case yet. They believe the man and woman involved are in their 20s.