MIAMI – A nun from a downtown church shelter was arrested for allegedly confronting a police officer who was dealing with a homeless man armed with a knife and an ice pick, according to WPLG-Ch. 10.
Sister Margaret Anthony is facing misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice after the Monday incident outside the Missionaries of Charity shelter near NW 17th Street and Seventh Court, the station reported.
Sister Margaret was not jailed, and a court date has not been set, Moss told WFOR-Ch. 4.
As police were trying to diffuse a situation with the homeless man, Sister Margaret got in the way and confronted the officer, a Miami Police spokesman told WPLG.
“The nun refused to stay back. She came through the gate. At one point, she gets right in front of, or right in the middle of, the police officer and this knife-, ice pick-wielding man.” Cmdr. Delrish Moss said.
Moss said police think Sister Margaret was only trying to protect the homeless man, but she “stepped over the boundary” and interfered with the police officer.
Another nun from the shelter refused to comment, telling WPLG: “Everything is with the greater glory of God. There’s nothing else we want to say.”
Hopefully this will all get straightened out.
I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand what “Everything is with the greater glory of God” means.
Surely everything is greater with the glory of God, but did the nun mean that everything that happens is gives glory to God?
Messing with R.N.’s (Real Nuns) will get you in trouble fast.
Somebody needs to say a few Hail Mary’s.
Fr. Philip, OP
P.S. This is not to say, of course, that sister should have interfered.
What a scary, dangerous situation this represents for the police officer, the homeless man and Sister. As a retired cop, it gives me the shivers. Police MUST be able to do their job (which is to serve and protect) without a bad situation being escalated to a worse situation by such interference. lois
As a serving police officer and Catholic, what this nun (or sister) allegedly did was most unwise. Police are trained to deal with these situations, nuns are not. The first priority is to contain the situation and disarm the fellow to remove any threat (leaving aside the need for ice picks in Miami).
Well intentioned members of the public are often present in arrest situations. Usually they go off at half-cock with limited information, in the mistaken belief that offenders just need a hug to become good people. The reality is otherwise. Almost invariably their actions place themselves, the police and the alleged offenders at greater risk of harm than would otherwise be the case. If they do not desist they get arrested as well – and so should they. A police officer’s job is difficult and dangerous enough as it is.
If Sister Busy’s got a martyr complex, well, fine, but she was very un-Christian in endangering the officer’s life and the homeless man’s life.
With all respect to the police officers logging in here, we don’t know that the police were in the right here. I could foresee a situation where the sister saw him being physically threatened and thought–perhaps rightly if she knew him well–she could de-escalate the situation. I work with the homeless, and while obviously the alleged pick ax and knife is the wild card in this story, I see overreaction from well intentioned police all the time.
All I’m saying–wait till the story really comes out. Seems like a lot missing here to me.
I think it is possible that she was afraid that the homeless man was someone she knew and helped, and that he was getting exciteable and she was afraid he was going to get himself hurt needlessly. I think she did a selfless act, even if the policeman was 150% in the right.
I don’t think I would be so brave, but I am not proud of that.
If it’d been someone younger, or someone from a less sensible order, I might think the nun might have gotten in the way. But an older nun, from the Missionaries of Charity? Seems unlikely. They’re not the type.
One should also remember that there are a lot of less experienced police officers on the street, who have been making the news the last few years for using too much force, actually escalating situations because they’re so uncomfortable with using more traditional police skills. A lot of these folks are also known for arresting people for no good reason, or even for laws that don’t exist!
But at any rate, it’s not unlikely that there might have been strong disagreement between a nun who knows a homeless person and is confident that she can deal with the man because she has done so before, perhaps under equally bad conditions; and a police officer who takes a different view of the situation and threat level. Nuns have a tendency to believe in asking forgiveness instead of permission when they march into a situation, and police officers tend to view that sort of behavior dimly (especially if they didn’t notice the nun coming through quickly enough to stop her, or if she refused to leave an area she was already in).
Oh, I’m sure this was a nice little ball of confusion.
My aunt’s an MC, and I’ve heard some interesting stories from over the years, including one sister who tackled a guy with a knife, and then sat on him till the cops came.
It’s not worth it making a judgment off the facts presented in the news story. Often enough, the person on the scene underestimates the situation, but quite as often they have a better understanding than the police officer just called in.
Maybe the policeman was making a excessivley big to-do about responding to the armed homeless guy and making the situation worse, so the nun confronted the cop and embarrassed him. And then it turned out the nun was much easier to arrest.
I’ve read several incidents in the news of similar situations in which the homeless man was shot and killed.
I understand why a policeman when threatened wants to preserve his life and that others, but some cops clearly go a bit overboard.
I concede the possibility that the nun was just getting in the way, but the chances are equally likely that she saved this man from being shot.
The fact that she works at the shelter makes it plausible that she knew the man and how to calm him down. Homeless are frequently mentally ill and paranoid, in which case only someone the man trusted could have diffused the situation.
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