After several recent burglaries at their church, six parishioners of the Church of the Nazarene in West Palm Beach took matters into their own hands this week.
WPTV, NBC 6’s sister station in West Palm Beach, reported that the church members used baseball bats to subdue a robber, and then tied him up while waiting for police to arrive.
Aristeo Paxtor told police he was awake on the second floor of the church when he heard glass breaking. He grabbed a baseball bat and waited for the burglar to enter. When he saw the door open, he swung the bat and whacked the man hard in the chest.
Paxtor said the man ran and locked himself in a room. The man then tried to escape the church through a window, but Esteban Mendoza was waiting for him. He swung the baseball bat he was carrying and hit the burglar in the back.
The church members then tied up the man, took a snapshot as evidence, and waited until police arrived.
West Palm Beach police said the man, identified as Ralph Thomas, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital and treated for lacerations to his legs, several broken fingers and broken ribs.
Police charged Thomas with burglary.