Police responded to a Hartford church just before noon on Sunday after a man caused a commotion at church, punched and stabbed the parishioner who tried to escort him out of the house of worship and yelled racial slurs at churchgoers, according to police.
Police said they responded to Glory Chapel International Cathedral on Greenfield Street just before noon after an assault with a knife was reported.
As they were responding, police received a 911 call reporting that parishioners had subdued the man and were waiting for officers to arrive.
When police met with the victim, he said he was attending services when he heard a loud commotion and went to investigate because he was concerned about the safety of women and children at the church.
That’s when the victim noticed Tyrell Mohown, 39, who was yelling for no apparent reason and appeared to be under the influence of something or suffering from mental illness, according to the police report.
The victim said he tried to reason with Mohown and asked him to leave, but it didn’t work.
Mohown then punched the victim in the face, so the victim punched back to defend himself.
That’s when Mohown grabbed a knife and lunged at the victim, who was struck in the groin, but the victim told police he wasn’t injured.
The victim was then able to subdue Mohown.
Police said Mohown called parishioners “roaches,” made racial statements derogatory to people of Hispanic heritage and yelled “Go back to your island,” among other statements.
Then he threatened to kill people for putting their hands on him, witnesses told police.
Police said they found a second knife on Mohown while patting him down.
Mohown has been charged with third-degree assault, second-degree criminal attempt to commit assault, second-degree threatening, carrying a dangerous weapon, intimidation based on bigotry or bias and disorderly conduct.