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Worker attacked inside church rectory in Cleveland

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 11:37 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - An unthinkable crime at St. Augustine’s church rectory after one church employee is attacked by another.

It was inside the church rectory just before 9:00 Wednesday morning when the office manager says she was attacked by a Catholic Charities bus driver who works with the church.

Doris Everetts of Cleveland was rushed to the hospital and suffered from a concussion, a cut on her face from her ear to her mouth, a jaw fracture as well as bruises all over her body.

Everetts says as she was having a conversation with the church secretary, the suspect physically attacked her. She tells 19 News it’s violence she never saw coming, especially on sacred ground by someone she’s known for years, “His pay may have gotten cut, and evidently he thought I was the cause of it.”

Doris Everetts, who has worked as the church office manager for over 32 years and writes the checks, is scarred and scared. The Cleveland woman says she was also raised in the church and grew up at the convent with Sister Corita. But admits until her attacker is arrested, she can’t let her guard down, “I’m scared, but that’s my home. It is, that’s my home, that’s my church. The receptionist there, Christine, said she tried pulling him off me, and she said he just went crazy, and she was screaming. She had her granddaughter run out and go get the bosses or somebody.”

The suspect, who we are not naming until he is officially charged with a crime, told church workers he attacked Everetts and wanted to do it again. But she had already been transported to the hospital.

Father Bill O’Donnell, the Pastor at St. Augustine’s who has only been there for six months, says, “His pay, he felt as if he was being cheated. But according to Father O’Donnell, the procedure for his checks were just changing with the hospital paying him for three days, and Catholic Charities will pay him in the future.

The suspect had also made earlier threats, according to the church pastor, “He had brought that issue to us a couple of weeks ago, and at that time he did not act responsibly either. He made a couple of threats which we passed on to his new employer.”

Father O’Donnell says the suspect has a history of violent behavior, as well as mental health issues. The church wanted to give him an opportunity, but after Wednesday’s violence, he is no longer permitted on church property.

“He was not listening to us, and that’s part of the tragedy of someone who has some mental health issues, which he certainly does,” Father O’Donnell said.

The victim Doris Everetts says she hopes the suspect will now do the right thing, “I hope he turns himself in and gets the help he needs.”

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