Connellsville man arrested for alleged assault on priest

| March 12, 2010

A church employee has been charged with the March 3 assault of a parish priest at Immaculate Conception Church in Connellsville.

Kevin Labuda, 46, was arraigned today on charges of aggravated assault, burglary, criminal trespass, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. He was jailed in lieu of posting $500,000 bond.

Connellsville Detective Lt. Steve Shaffer alleges that Labuda was in the church rectory and hit the Rev. Joseph Bonafed over the head with a blunt object the evening of March 3. Bonafed, who needed stitches, was treated at Highlands Hospital.

Bonafed was returning from a parish event when the attack occurred, said Jerry Zufelt, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

"We are saddened to learn the suspect, Kevin Labuda, is an employee of the three partner parishes in Connellsville," Zufelt said this afternoon.

Bonafed also is the administrator of St. Rita and St. John the Evangelist churches in Connellsville.

"We are all grateful for the good work of the Connellsville Police Department and Chief Ed McSheffrey, which has led to an arrest in the case involving the attack on Father Joseph Bonafed," Zufelt said.

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Category: Church Security

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