Warning - this video contains footage that viewers may find disturbing. TAPintoNewark has obtained footage of the assault of an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark during Mass at Newark's Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
The Most Reverend Manuel A. Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, was offering opening prayers at a Saturday afternoon service commemorating the life of baseball great Roberto Clemente, remembered by Latinos in Newark, especially those from his native Puerto Rico, for his tragic death in a plane crash en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972.
The sanctity of the mass was shattered when a man wearing a white robe over a red suit shambled up to the altar from the crowd, reached Bishop Cruz and struck the 63-year-old in the face, knocking him backwards until he fell on the altar.
TAPintoNewark witnessed the assailant's apprehension after several Essex County's Sheriff's police officers ran onto the altar and handcuffed the man. One officer at the scene who saw Cruz after he was struck commented to another officer that several of the bishop's teeth had been loosened in the attack.
Bishop Cruz is now back at the cathedral residence on Ridge Street in Newark after receiving medical treatment and is resting, according to Jim Goodness, spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese.