Ex−con gets jail time for Queens priest attack

By Howard Koplowitz

A homeless ex−convict was sentenced to 13 12 years to life in prison last Thursday after he pleaded guilty to beating the priest at St. Anthony of Padua in South Ozone Park — the same church he set on fire eight years before, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Calvin Bostick, 49, had been out of prison for just 11 days when he went to the South Ozone Park church at 133−25 128th St. and struck the parish priest — the Rev. Christopher Ezeoke — in the head with a walking cane back on Feb. 23, 2007, the DA said.

After the initial strike to the head, Bostick pushed Ezeoke into the rectory and continually beat him with the cane, Brown said.

Bostick was convicted in 1999 of setting fire to St. Anthony of Padua and burning the church to the ground, the DA said.

A woman who answered the phone at St. Anthony of Padua said Ezeoke did not want to speak about the sentencing.

“Our pastor has advised us that he has no comment,” she said.

Bostick pleaded guilty to assaulting the priest in January and was sentenced March 12 to 13 12 years to life in prison by Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephen Knopf, Brown said.

He received a sentence much longer than is usual for assault because Bostick had been convicted of at least three other felonies, according to the DA.

“Today’s sentence is more than warranted,” Brown said in a statement. “The defendant has a long and violent criminal history, including a conviction for having burned to the ground the very same church eight years earlier. And since he is, under the law, a persistent violent felony offender with at least three violent felony convictions, he faced an enhanced penalty of life in prison.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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