Police: Man disrupts Mass, attacks trooper

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Aug. 1—A homeless man was jailed Sunday, accused of disrupting a church service and assaulting a state trooper who suffered a broken left hand, authorities said.

State police in Ebensburg charged Eric John Henico, 44, with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, defiant trespass, simple assault, disorderly conduct and disrupting a meeting.

According to a complaint affidavit, troopers were called to St. Bernard Catholic Church on Seventh Avenue in Hasting at 8:07 a.m. Sunday for a report of someone disrupting the service and screaming at the priest.

Troopers said they found Henico on a neighboring property posted with a "No trespassing" sign.

Henico allegedly assaulted the trooper making the arrest, sending him to Conemaugh Miners Medical Center, in Hastings, with a broken left hand.

He told troopers that he went to church, but the rear door was locked. He walked through the front door, but there was no holy water.

Henico said he approached the priest about not having holy water, but the ushers told him to leave, the affidavit said.

He told troopers that he was sent to a halfway house in Brookville after being released from Cambria County Prison. He said he left the halfway house because it was not a religious center as he was led to believe, the affidavit said.

Henico was arraigned by on-call District Judge Susan Gindlesperger, of Stonycreek Township, and sent to Cambria County Prison, after failing to post 10% of $75,000 bond.