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(VIDEO) New Jersey Man Punches Catholic Bishop In The Face During Mass

February 01, 2017

A man has been charged with assault for punching an auxiliary bishop with the Archdiocese of Newark in the face during mass at a New Jersey cathedral.

Charles Miller, 48, was caught on video punching Rev. Manuel Cruz during an event honoring baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente on Saturday.

Essex County authorities said the attack occurred at Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Miller was in a pew and then got up out of his seat, walked up to the altar, and punched Cruz in the face. Video shows police quickly tackling Miller to the ground and taking him into custody.

Rev. Manuel Cruz was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries, none of which are being considered serious.

Miller was charged with assault. The motive for the attack is unclear.

Miller entered a not-guilty plea during a brief court appearance on Tuesday. He identified himself as a reverend and said that the bible should be considered as evidence.

Saturday’s mass marked the recent anniversary of Clemente’s death on New Years Eve in 1972. He was killed in a plane crash while traveling to Nicaragua to deliver supplies to earthquake victims.