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Video shows Florida man tackling deacon during evening mass


POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP/CNN) – A Florida man is facing battery and other charges after he was captured on surveillance video tackling a deacon who was conducting a Saturday evening service at a church.

Security video from the church shows the man sitting in a front pew at St. Coleman Catholic Church on Pompano Beach on Saturday evening while Deacon George Labelle was walking back and forth speaking to the congregation. The man then stood up and charged the deacon.

As stunned parishioners looked on, several other churchgoers then ran to help as the man tussled with the deacon on the floor at the front of the church, news outlets reported.

“Naturally they want try to defend him. You don’t know what’s going through the guy’s mind. You don’t know whether he’s got a knife or something,” said Parishioner Tim Gilmore.

Thomas Eisel, 28, was arrested on charges of battery and disturbing the peace. A Broward County judge ordered Eisel held without bond for violating his probation in a Volusia County case.

Officials say Deacon Labelle suffered some bruises but is otherwise okay. There is no word yet on Eisel’s motive.


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