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Four teens charged for robbing and shooting at priest, two had previous criminal records

Posted at 5:13 PM, Dec 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 17:35:54-05

Four teens have been charged forrobbing and shooting at a priest on Cleveland's east side Monday night and News 5 found two of those teens had prior criminal records. 

Father John Kumse has been the priest at St. Mary's Church in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood for 30 years and he told News 5 on Wednesday, this is the first time anything like this has ever happened.

And he said he hopes it will be the last.

Four teenagers — three boys and one girl all under the age of 17 — appeared in juvenile court Wednesday in connection with the robbery and shooting. They are charged with aggravated robbery and felonious assault with a gun.

Police said Father Kumse had just grabbed some eggs from the chicken coop on the church's campus Monday night when one of the teens came up to him and said, "give me the eggs."

Father Kumse tried to run but tripped and fell. At that moment, one of the teens fired shots, missing all three times. 

Police say during the robbery, two other teens walked into a store nearby. They are believed to be to have been the lookout and getaway driver. 

According to juvenile court records, two of the teens arrested have prior criminal records.

One of the teens, a 15-year-old boy, was found delinquent of rape for a 2014 incident. He was sentenced to probation and community service in January 2015. The probation was terminated in June 2016.

A 16-year-old boy who was arrested was previously found delinquent of criminal damaging, disorderly conduct and civil action in 2014. He was also found delinquent of domestic violence in 2015. He was given probation and community service for those offenses. 

Lyndsay Mihalic works for a nearby non-profit that specializes in vocational training. Cases like these, she says, reinforce the need for people to get involved. 

“It’s just sad that young people are getting into such dangerous things these days," she said. "That’s what we’re trying to do here to help stop that and rebuild the neighborhood through our vocational training. That’s all I can say.”

We're told the minivan the teenagers used in the robbery was also stolen. 

Father Kumse said he's in good spirits and he wants to put the whole thing behind him.