SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A man from Concord, California, was taken into custody on Sunday for allegedly assaulting a churchgoer and throwing pipe bombs at a police vehicle during a high-speed pursuit, according to authorities.
The 42-year-old suspect was apprehended by California Highway Patrol officers in Martinez, a city located east of San Francisco, after a 30-minute chase. San Francisco Assistant Police Chief David Lazar confirmed the arrest.
The man is facing charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of an explosive device, and other related offenses.
The incident began when the man reportedly assaulted a parishioner during a mass at the Saints Peter and Paul Church in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. The man allegedly punched the victim in the head, causing temporary unconsciousness.
Peter Marlow, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Archdiocese, stated that the man had been reprimanded for not consuming the consecrated host during Communion, which led to the assault on Sunday evening.
After leaving the church, the man brandished a knife and led police officers, who had responded to 911 calls, on a car chase through the city.
During the chase, the man allegedly threw a pipe bomb at the officers a few blocks away from the church. The officers reported seeing flames and feeling the explosion. The suspect then reportedly threw a second, larger bomb before crossing the Bay Bridge.
Despite the explosions, no officers were injured. The chase ended when the man crashed his car and was subsequently arrested by CHP officers.