A 28-year-old man appeared in Broward court on Monday after he was accused of attacking a Deacon during Mass at St. Coleman Catholic Church in Pompano Beach.
Thomas Eisel, who was wearing a vest in court, is accused of attacking George LaBelle, who was serving as a deacon during Mass on Saturday at the church at 1200 S. Federal Hwy.
Eisel was alone. He sat in the front row and when LaBelle was giving the homily, he stood up and pushed him, witnesses said. About 10 parishioners jumped up to defend LaBelle. They wrestled him down and detained him. LaBelle wasn’t injured.
One of the parishioners was an off-duty Broward Sheriff’s Office lieutenant. The deputy said he had suspected something was off with Eisel and he had been keeping an eye on him before the attack.
The deputy’s instinct was right. Eisel was on probation from Volusia County for battery on a person over 65 years of age. In Broward County, Thomas is facing misdemeanor charges of touch or strike/battery and disturbing the peace.