Attacks on the Church

N.Y. church arsonist allegedly attacks priest with cane

.- A 48-year-old man allegedly sought out the pastor at St. Anthony of Padua Church and beat him with a cane, just 11 days after being released from prison for setting fire to the church.

The New York Daily News said Calvin Bostick arrived at the church in Queens on Feb. 23. He confronted Fr. Christopher Ezeoke outside the rectory and allegedly began to beat the priest with a cane repeatedly. Bostick then pushed Ezeoke into the rectory, where he continued to beat him.

The 44-year-old priest eventually restrained Bostick until authorities could arrive. Fr. Ezeoke is a native of Nigeria and was not assigned to the parish at the time of the arson.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, Bostick, who had been homeless since his release, had approached the priest for money a few times in the days leading up to the attack. This time, the priest refused to give him money and walked away. The attack followed.

Bostick could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the assault. He served eight years for setting fire to the church in 1999. Bostick has served time in prison for arson, robbery and grand larceny. He also has been arrested at least 20 times, mostly for drug crimes, a police source told the Daily News. Bostick and was reportedly carrying a crack pipe when he was arrested last week.

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