A 62 year-0ld Franciscan priest is grateful to be alive after a thief pointed a gun at him and demanded his car keys while he was standing in front of his church in Wilmington, Delaware.
CBSLocal.com is reporting that Fr. Paul Williams was in the process of getting into his SUV in the parking lot of St. Paul’s Church on July 24 when 19 year-old Deiondre Travis came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned around, Travis put a gun to his chest.
“He used the ‘N word’ and told me to hand over my car keys,” Williams said and admitted that it was “indeed a terrifying moment … I feel violated to be honest with you.”
Wilmington Police say Travis then proceeded to steal the car. He put a fake license plate on the vehicle before driving it a few blocks away where officers found him playing basketball. They waited until he pulled out the keys to the stolen car and attempted to drive it away before arresting him.
Travis is being held on charges that include robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time St. Paul’s has been plagued by crime.
DelawareOnline is reporting that there have been three thefts in the last three weeks at the same Church, according to Fr. Todd Carpenter, the pastor of the parish.
Two weeks ago, two air conditioning window units were stolen from the rectory. Just last Friday someone broke into the convent, where the priests are now living, and ransacked their rooms, stealing money, a computer, and other items. A priest was in the building at the time but he was sleeping in the basement because his room – which was burglarized during the break-in – was too hot.
However, the crime wave is not enough to chase away Father Paul, who just moved to Wilmington from South Carolina three months ago.
“We put our faith in God and we can’t be cowards,” he told reporters. “So we move on with our lives.”
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