Church custodian stabbed in the Old West End

| August 9, 2010

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – A church employee was stabbed Saturday evening around 7:45 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church in the 2100 block of Collingwood Blvd.

Custodian Anthony Leno was stabbed twice while he took a quick break outside.

"We believe two occupants asked Tony for directions," said Jack Lindberg, a member of the congregation. "Tony, being the guy he is, walked to the car to give them directions. At that point he was stabbed."

Church security guard Anthony Bell knows Leno well. He says it was upsetting to find out what happened to a friend and says the crime is a reflection of the community today.

"It's a bad neighborhood," Bell said. "To have a security guard at the church lets you know it is a sign of the times."

While it may be a sign of the times, by chance Sunday's sermon was entitled: "Facing our Fears," a lesson planned months earlier, but fitting during this difficult time.

"We should be wary, but at the same time we want to be a place where we can project enough love that we can drive some of that hatred and hurt and pain away that makes people act like that," Rev. Robert Anderson said.

Before service members held hands and prayed for their fellow family member, a member they say means so much to the church.

"Without him this doesn't happen. It took four people to get the church ready this morning in what he does by himself. I guess that tells you it all," Lindberg said.

Leno is expected to be okay.

His attacker is described as a Middle Eastern man in his 30s, around 5' 8" and around 160 lbs with black hair and brown eyes.

Witnesses say he drove off in a green Chevy Blazer.

Call CrimeStopper at 419-255-1111 if you have information that can help police.

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Category: Church Security

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