East Orange man charged in assault on priest at Saint Mary’s Church in Newark

Newark police say that a priest was assaulted inside Saint Mary's Church Sunday.

Newark police say that a priest was assaulted inside Saint Mary's Church Sunday. (4/25/16)

NEWARK - An East Orange man reportedly suffering an emotional disorder was charged for allegedly assaulting a priest inside a church in Newark Sunday.

Police say that Shawn Swinton, 33, began acting strangely while inside Saint Mary’s Church located on the 500 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard and assaulted a priest after Mass. Church officials say that the man was familiar with clergy members and is emotionally unstable.

After the assault, Swinton reportedly fled the church. Several other priests and parishioners followed Swinton and flagged down a passing Newark police car. The officers were able to find Swinton and arrest him.

The priest was taken to University Hospital for minor injuries. He is expected to be OK.

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