Some of you may have seen this on social media:
— Anthony Francis (@FAR060599) June 27, 2020
Some social media reports blamed it on BLM and labeled it, in effect, a hate crime against a Catholic priest. There were no sources for that allegation, and no proof was offered.
I saw it a few days ago and waited for other media to pick up on it. Nobody did. So someone contacted WUSA, a local affiliate in Washington, to see if they could get to the bottom of it.
WUSA spoke with people from the Archdiocese of Washington, examined a police report and posted a statement from the church where the priest has been living:
“Fr. Thomas Haake, OMV (Oblates of the Virgin Mary) was recently assaulted on the streets of Southeast, Washington, DC. We are saddened that Fr. Haake, an out-of-town guest to our city and a friend of St. Peter’s, suffered an assault. ….We are thankful that Fr. Haake was not seriously hurt and is doing well in body and spirit. We will pass along the prayers and concern of many inquiring about Fr. Haake, and continue to pray for healing and justice in our country.”
According to the police report, Father Haake said he woke up and his wallet and phone were missing and told officers he did not know how he got his injury.
As to the validity of allegations that Haake was assaulted by protesters or that this was religiously motivated, that’s not something the Verify team can answer at this point.
So, if you see posts claiming that this was done by Black Lives Matter protesters, just know that currently there is no evidence to support this.
A DC police spokesperson told the Verify team they are investigating the details of this case.