Rector Recovering After Christmas Eve Church Beating

Church plans safety measures to discourage future attacks

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  -- A senior citizen is in an area hospital after being robbed and beaten outside of a College Park church just before midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
Wayne Williams, a 69-year-old volunteer rector, was found in the parking lot of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Prince George's County police said. He was beaten with a baseball bat and had severe facial injuries, police said.
The man had dropped his wife off for choir practice and was parking his car in the dark lot when the robber approached him, police said.
The man was taken to a hospital in critical condition, an archdiocese spokeswoman said. His condition has improved significantly.
Police are searching for the suspected robber, who took the victim's wallet.
Williams called 911 himself and received advice for preliminary treatment of his bloody wounds.
The suspect is described as possibly a black or Hispanic male, approximately 20 years of age, and weighing 190 pounds. He wore a black sweater and was armed with a baseball bat.
The church plans to put up lights in the parking lot and organize two-person patrols during nighttime services to discourage future attacks.
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