CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A priest from a south Charlotte church spent the weekend in the hospital after a teenager punched him in the church parking lot and then hit him with his car.
"My first reaction was shock and anger. Where is this fellow, I want to defend my friend," said Father John Wallace.
Wallace is a clergy member at Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church on Kuykendall Road. His friend and colleague, Father Steve Dalber, was attacked near the dumpster Friday night when he was looking for his cell phone.
"I think it happened so unexpectedly and suddenly. Here he is hanging out in the parking lot looking for something that had fallen out of his pocket. Next thing he knows, he's got a very angry and aggressive person rapidly approaching and in his personal space and it deteriorated from there," said Fr. Wallace.
Father Steve landed in the hospital with a broken arm and back injury. The suspect,17-year-old William McCloskey, landed in jail. He's being charged with felony hit and run and assault with a deadly weapon among other charges.
The teen's parents were in court Monday and tell FOX 46 that the assault is out of character for their son and that they're praying for Father Steve's recovery. "We're also praying for that young man and his family," said Fr. Wallace.
Father Steve is expected to be released from the hospital sometime this Monday or Tuesday.