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Priest beats up would-be robbers

A tough Chicago priest foiled two would-be robbers who tried to steal money from the church collection box, keeping one of them in a headlock until the cops came.

St Agnes' Church in the city's West Side had been robbed before, so video cameras were installed overlooking the collection box.

Last week, church volunteers saw a man lay out tools and try to break into the box, which was holding about $A428.40.

Fr Matt Foley ran in and grabbed the man's tools, but the intruder fought back, and the tussle wandered into the street, then a nearby alley.

"He had threatened me that he had a knife," Foley told a TV station. "I had to physically keep his hand away from the knife so I wouldn't be harmed. So I put him basically in a half-nelson and held him to the ground."

Two men who had received free meals at the church were arrested.

Growing up with four brothers and two sisters taught him how to fight, Foley explained, adding that he was ready to risk his life again for the sake of the church's money.

Priest Beats Up Would-Be Robbers (Fox News 25/6/04)

'No one steals from God' (Online Sun 28/6/04)
Archdiocese of Chicago
St Agnes of Bohemia Parish

28 Jun 2004