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General News

Fr. Kalogridis Shares an Update on the Attack and Robbery at St. Demetrios Jamaica

NEW YORK – The police investigation is ongoing to identify the perpetrator of the brazen attack and robbery of a 68-year-old parishioner outside St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Jamaica, which took place on April 7 at 8:30 AM, resulting in her serious injury.

According to the latest information, the police on April 9 located, just a few miles from the church, the victim’s vehicle, a 2006 Nissan Altima, which the suspect stole using the victim’s own keys. The police now have fingerprints at their disposal and DNA clues in their search for the suspect.

The National Herald spoke with St. Demetrios Jamaica’s presiding priest Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis who noted that the 68-year-old woman is still hospitalized, with her condition showing that she is gradually stabilizing.

“I visited her twice, on Monday and Tuesday night. I see she is getting better day by day. She is a woman with a good soul and is always smiling,” said Fr. Kalogridis.

He added that the incident happened during the Orthros service which precedes the Divine Liturgy, with most of the parishioners and himself realizing what had happened only after the end of the Liturgy, as it took some time for the ambulance to arrive at the scene.

“It happened around the time of the Orthros and I was informed about what happened at the end of the Liturgy. The truth is that it took a long time for the ambulance to arrive at the scene. It’s something we couldn’t believe. For a woman to come for the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, at the time of Orthros, and for this man to come, step in front of her, push her with force and throw her down the stairs. The woman fell down hard, hitting her body and head on the concrete. The human mind cannot comprehend what happened,” said Fr. Kalogridis.

Naturally, last Sunday’s incident has alarmed the parishioners of St. Demetrios Jamaica, as there is always the fear that it could happen again, especially at a time when there are so many services in the Greek Orthodox Church heading towards Holy Week, the Passion of Christ, and the mass attendance of the faithful at all the local churches.

For his part, Fr. Kalogridis noted that there is coordination and understanding with the 107th Precinct of the NYPD, which oversees the area, and the police presence is increasing, which is reassuring.

“The neighbors are mainly the ones who want to feel safer. Here we have the 107th precinct, which will send patrol cars to monitor the area and make sure nothing like that happens again. In any case, it was something unusual. The police told us that there has never been such an incident before in the area. Nevertheless, the police will supervise. They support us and will monitor the area,” Fr. Kalogridis concluded.

The 68-year-old’s family has asked for privacy to be respected, so that the unfortunate woman can recover in peace.

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