2 arrested after Staten Island priest mugged outside church

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CeFaan Kim has the latest details from Staten Island.

Two men are in custody after a priest was punched and had his car and wallet stolen outside his Staten Island church Thursday morning.

Antwine Lucas, 44, of Brooklyn, and Kerry Pack, 39, of Staten Island, are both charged with two counts of robbery and one count criminal possession of stolen property.

Detectives said they recovered surveillance video that led them to the suspects on Staten Island around 10 p.m. Thursday.

"We were able to do a video canvas several blocks away to a certain house, a problematic house in the neighborhood," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. "We knocked on the door, spoke to someone who then identified these individuals."

The 61-year-old priest was assaulted as he parked outside St. Mary's of the Assumption on Castleton Avenue around 5 a.m. Thursday, with police saying the suspects pointed a gun at him and struck him repeatedly before fleeing in the car. The victim's wallet had just $18 inside.

"His car was taken, with his keys," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. "We recovered his car a few blocks away."

The suspects probably didn't know their victim was a priest, an associate pastor who was too shaken to speak to the media but determined enough to celebrate noon Mass despite his injuries.

He suffered a black eye in the attack.

"He's fine physically," head Pastor Fr. Mark Hallinan said. "But you know, it's a trauma at 5 o'clock in the morning to be woken up with a gun pointed at you and punched in the face. No one wants that, right?"

Parishioners inside the church during the noon Mass said the pastor noted he had a black eye, but left out the details of a frightening morning most would rather forget.

"It's very sad," parishioner Michael DelPriore said. "Our society's in bad shape, real bad shape. Nobody respects each other, nobody loves each other. It's a sad, sad commentary on where we've become as a people."
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