NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police have arrested a suspect who they said threatened a nun while she prayed inside a Brooklyn church.
Derrick Gadson, 56, has been charged with hate crime aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a controlled substance, police said.
Investigators say Sister Maria Amador’s prayers were interrupted and her life threatened Wednesday by a man inside the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights.
“I thought this is my last day,” Sister Amador said.
Surveillance video shows a shirtless man heading into the church. He is then seen approaching Sister Amador, who is Mother Superior of her convent, sitting by herself at a pew in prayer.
Investigators say as he got closer, he said, “I don’t believe in this because you don’t help poor people.”
When the nun did not respond out of fear, he became agitated. As Sister Amador looked around for help, she spotted a woman in another pew.
“I started to look at the woman trying to say, ‘OK, I need help,’” she said. “But he said, ‘She can’t help you and I am going to kill you.’”
That’s when the nun took off running and the suspect fled.
Gadson has a criminal record with 40 prior arrests, CBS2 reported.