#1Jan 30th, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Parishioners tackled a gunman suspected of snatching purses from church pews during mass, the pastor and police said.
One man suffered lacerations to his head and face during the struggle at Christ the King Catholic Church on Sunday morning, police said. Wendell Hollingsworth, 43, and Celeste Smith, 51, were arrested and each charged with aggravated robbery at the church, police said. They were being held in the Franklin County jail Monday, awaiting bond.
The pair walked into the service and grabbed purses as Hollingsworth displayed a handgun and said, "This is a robbery," police said.
Hollingsworth was tackled as parishioners called police on cellphones. Smith was arrested outside the church, police said.
"Our parishioners are not about to let anyone defile their church," said the Rev. Michael Lumpe.
Copyright © 2007 Canadian Press