Diocesan News

Police Take Man to Hospital After He Tries to Light Fire at Queens Church

By Raquel DeLuca

WINDSOR TERRACE — A man was taken by police to a Queens hospital for evaluation after an incident at a church in Hollis, Queens. 

Surveillance video from St. Gerard Majella Roman Catholic Church shows a man throwing what appears to be a scarf through an open door into the church’s vestibule. He is then seen striking a match, apparently trying to light something on fire, and then throwing the match toward the vestibule opening.

“This is sad and very scary, but it could have been worse,” said Father Josephjude Gannon, pastor of the church. “Thankfully no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.”

Father Gannon is seen on the video coming out of the church and confronting the man. After Father Gannon speaks with him, the man is seen going into the vestibule to retrieve the article of clothing he previously threw, before walking off. 

“Clearly, this person has issues,” the pastor said. “Whatever they are, I don’t know but I hope he gets help. I will pray for him.”

Officers responded to the scene and removed a man who looked like the one in the video. He was taken to Queens General Hospital for evaluation. Anyone with information is asked to call CRIME STOPPERS at (800) 577-TIPS.