A parolee who allegedly entered a South Side church with an accomplice where they robbed and beat an elderly priest with the priest’s own cane and holy water sprinkler was arrested Thursday.
Jerrell Harris, 21, of the 1300 block of West 97th Street, was arrested as he was paroled the Pinkneyville Correction Center, where he had serving a sentence for vehicular invasion, the Chicago Tribune reported.
He was charged with multiple felony counts of aggravated battery, home invasion and armed robbery in the December 2011 attack that left the then 80-year-old priest battered and bloody.
Harris and another offender dressed like “ninjas” and broke into St. Margaret of Scotland Church at 9837 S. Throop around 12:30 a.m. Dec. 6, 2011, according to the charges.
Both offenders entered the rectory and woke Father Daniel Mallette. Once inside the rectory, Harris and his accomplice beat and robbed the elderly priest, fleeing with $600 from a bedroom safe, police said.
While beating Mallette, one of the alleged robbers asked the priest to pray for him, the Tribune said. As they left the church, the two sprayed bleach in an attempt to destroy evidence, reports said.
Mallette was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center for broken ribs and lacerations to his head, which required stitches.
According to police, Harris admitted Thursday to taking part in the home invasion and attack 2 ½ years ago.
Harris appeared in court before Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil on Friday, where bail was set for $500,000, the Tribune reported.
The second attacker remains at large.