Lynn man charged with assault, vandalism in Peabody church lot

| July 13, 2010

PEABODY – An allegedly out of control Lynn man has been locked up after he flipped out on his girlfriend and a priest in the parking lot of St. John's Church Sunday night.

Jose Serrano, 31, of 189 Hamilton Ave., #3, was charged with kidnapping, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, rock, domestic assault and battery, two counts of malicious damage to a motor vehicle and giving a false name and address to a police officer.

Serrano was arraigned Monday at Peabody District Court by Judge Matthew Nestor and was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing July 19.

The incident began when police responded to a call of a man who had thrown a rock through the window of a Toyota Rav 4 near St. John's Church on Ellsworth Road. Upon arrival, police were met by a priest, who pointed to Serrano and said, "He just smashed our windows."

When police approached Serrano and asked him for identification, he gave a false name of Jose Alas and said, "Nothing happened, everything is fine" when asked what was going on.

When police spoke to the victim, who was upset and crying, she said she has been dating Serrano for the past three months, but wanted to end things "because of his controlling behavior." She went on to say that he "flipped out" and smashed the front window of the priest's Toyota as she was sitting in the front passenger seat. Serrano then allegedly threw a rock through her Toyota Camry that was parked nearby. At that point, police placed Serrano under arrest.
The priest said he had spoken to the victim earlier in the day about problems she was having in her relationship with Serrano and later saw her speaking with the suspect in the parking lot around 12:30 p.m. He said he thought it was odd that the two were still talking to each other around 4:45 p.m. and decided to sit in his car and keep an eye on her for her well-being.

Then, around 5:30 p.m., the priest said he approached the vehicle to see if everything was alright and invited the victim in the rectory for a glass of water. Once inside, the victim said she wanted to go home, but felt she couldn't get away from Serrano.

When both the victim and the priest walked outside, she was able to get in her vehicle and lock the doors, but Serrano allegedly yelled at her to unlock the door. He then broke her passenger side mirror, jumped on the hood of her car and broke the right windshield wiper.

Seeing that Serrano was "out of control," the priest called 911 as he gave the victim keys to his vehicle so she could escape. Serrano then allegedly smashed the window of the priest's vehicle, sending shards of glass all over the victim, and reached inside, grabbing the victim's chin while saying, "It's all over now, they will deport me back to El Salvador."

Through fingerprints, police learned Serrano's true identity and that he has a criminal record in California. There is currently a deportation order from Immigration for Serrano.

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Category: Church Security

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