Man Threatened, Spit On Priest: Cops

The priest was trying to photograph the suspect's dangerous dirt bike riding, police said.

Monday, Apr 29, 2013  |  Updated 6:29 PM EDT
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Man Threatened, Spit On Priest: Cops

New Haven Police

Leron Stone, 20, is accused of threatening and spitting on a priest in New Haven.

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Police have charged Leron Stone, of New Haven, with threatening a priest and spitting on him as the priest tried to take a photo of Stone riding dangerously on a dirt bike.

According to police, Rev. James Manship, the head of Saint Rose of Lima Church on Blatchley Avenue, was out for a drive on April 21, when he heard a dirt bike and then spotted the rider popping wheelies on a sidewalk.

Rev. Manship pulled over and got out of his car to snap photos of the man on the dirt bike. The priest told police the man raced dangerously toward him and spit on him and his car before speeding away.

"I'm personally offended, but it happens to a lot of folks here," Rev. Manship said. "This kind of intimidation fear factor is just ruining the peace and quiet of the neighborhood."

Rev. Manship sent the photos of the rider and evidence of the spitting to officers in the city's Fair Haven section. The officers recognized the man as Stone, according to authorities.

After obtaining an arrest warrant, police found Stone in Criscuolo Park and took him into custody.

Stone, 20, was charged with second-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace. He was also wanted on a second warrant for reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle without a license in connection with an incident on April 7. He was released on $30,000 bond.

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