Calif. man throws pipe bombs at cruisers during pursuit after assaulting a parishioner at church
A few blocks from the church, the fleeing driver threw a pipe bomb at officers who “saw the flames and could feel when the bomb detonated,” SFPD said
SAN FRANCISCO — A man has been arrested for allegedly knocking a parishioner unconscious inside a San Francisco Catholic church and throwing pipe bombs at a patrol car during a car chase, authorities said Monday.
The 42-year-old Concord man was arrested Sunday by California Highway Patrol officers in Martinez, east of San Francisco, following a 30-minute pursuit, San Francisco Assistant Police Chief David Lazar said.
The suspect was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, unlawful possession of an explosive device and other crimes.
Police were called after the man punched a parishioner in the head during mass at the Saints Peter and Paul Church in the city’s North Beach neighborhood, temporarily knocking him out, Lazar said.
Peter Marlow, spokesperson for the San Francisco Archdiocese, told KTVU-TV, that the man assaulted the parishioner Sunday evening after being reprimanded for failing to eat the consecrated host at Communion.
The man pulled a knife as he left the church and led officers who had responded to 911 calls on a car chase through city streets, Lazar alleged.
A few blocks from the church, the fleeing driver threw a pipe bomb at officers who “saw the flames and could feel when the bomb detonated,” and he threw a second, larger bomb before crossing the Bay Bridge, Lazar alleged.
The officers weren’t injured.
CHP officers who took over the pursuit from San Francisco police arrested the man after he crashed his car, authorities said.