Florida Police Looking for Man Who Robbed and Pistol Whipped Spanish Minister Outside Church

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Sanford police are looking for a suspect accused of robbing and pistol whipping a clergyman outside a church Saturday morning, officials said.

About 10 a.m., a clergyman was opening the doors to the Iglesia Vida Nueva Church, 911 S. Palmetto Ave., when he was approached by a man with a gun, Sanford Police Department spokeswoman Bianca Gillett said.

The suspect pointed the gun at the man, demanding his phone and wallet. The church leader tried to fight off the alleged bandit, but the suspect pistol whipped him, Gillet said.

Police said the suspect took the victim’s phone and wallet after beating him, then ran away.

Surveillance footage captured the suspect sitting on the steps of the church and pulling out a black handgun. He is described as a black man in his 20s wearing khaki pants, a gray, hooded sweatshirt and a dark-colored ski hat, Gillett said.

Gillett said police are increasing patrols in the area but cautioned residents to be aware of their surroundings. Police Chief Cecil Smith said his officers are working to catch the man responsible for the attack.

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Source: Orlando Sentinel | Caitlin Doornbos and Christal Hayes