Pastor Making Changes After Woman Was Attacked Inside Church

| September 15, 2009

CORPUS CHRISTI – The pastor of the church where an elderly woman was attacked said in light of Sunday’s incident, he’s going to implement some changes.

Father Bob Dunn is already meeting with officials from the Diocese of Corpus Christi and looking at ways to better protect his staff and his parishioners.

As church volunteers spent Monday cleaning the storage room where the attempted rape took place Sunday, Dunn, the pastor of Most Precious Blood Church, spent the day contemplating ways to protect his church.

"You know, cameras can catch people after the fact, but how do you prevent some of these things?" Dunn asked.

To answer that question, Dunn said he’s already scheduled meetings with the Diocese to see what security measures the church should take, whether it be new alarm systems or mirrors that allow people to see behind them

"We’re going to invite people not to come by themselves, especially early in the morning. Ladies should always come in groups or wait in the car until there’s others congregating at the church," Dunn said.

In Sunday’s attack, the 77-year-old volunteer was alone with no cell phone when police said Frederick Anderson, 35, pushed her inside and tried to rape her.

However, she fought back, scratching his face and pulling a doorknob off and beating him over the head. Other church members eventually came to her rescue.

Dried blood can still be seen there Monday morning as evidence of the brutal attack that took place Sunday and most of the blood is from the suspect.

"It is really a strong handle. I am amazed that she was able to do that. The strength of that little bitty lady is amazing," Dunn said.

Dunn said he’s also urging parishioners coming to church alone to keep a cell phone with them at all times.

Dunn said he’ll continue praying for the victim, the suspect, and his congregation until he figures out the best way to keep the church safe.

"This is where we want to talk to the professionals so we can make sure people are as safe as they can be," Dunn said.

Church officials said the victim of Sunday’s attack is back home recovering from her injuries. They said she plans to return to work when she’s fully healed.

Anderson is being held in the Nueces County Jail on charges of aggravated kidnapping and injury to an elderly person and his bond is set at $140,000. If he’s found guilty, he faces a maximum of life in prison.

Also, the incident isn’t the first time Anderson has had a run-in with the law. In November of 1992, Anderson was arrested for burglary in Nueces County. He was put on probation, but was arrested for another burglary in April 1993 while he was still on probation.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and began serving that term in June of 1994. Anderson served some of that sentence in a Dallas halfway house. He was released from prison in May of 2008. 

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Category: Church Security

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