CHICAGO - A Chicago priest was robbed at gunpoint while walking his dog before heading to Mass Tuesday morning in the South Chicago neighborhood, police said.
The priest was walking his dog at about 6:30 a.m. in the 9100-block of South Baltimore Avenue, just around the corner from his church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, when a man approached and started playing with his dog, police said.
"He was playing with the dog, he said 'Is he a boy or a girl,' that kind of stuff," Father John Molyneux said.
Fr. Molyneux, 61, exchanged a few words with the man, said, "Have a nice day," but something was not right. The man stayed close, then asked the priest for a dollar.
The priest handed over a dollar, but the man wanted more.
"At that point, he leaned in and he put something to my stomach, and I looked down and it looked like a gun. It was black. I don't know if it was real or not, but I decided to give him my wallet," said Fr. Molyneux.
The priest said the robber also demanded his cell phone, but he did not have one on him. Fr. Molyneux said he is ok and was not injured. He said cash and credit cards can be replaced, but he is sad about the amount of crime and violence in the neighborhood.
People from his church said they were shocked their priest was targeted, but they've known for a while not to walk alone in the area.
"I'm nervous right here in the neighborhood," said Marta, who did not want to give her last name.
"I witnessed a guy getting robbed last night around 9, 10 o'clock there on the corner. I yelled at him, started running off," said Ronald Brown, neighbor.
Police are investigating. No one is in custody.