Racial Hater Attacks Nigerian born American Catholic Priest, Reverend Uriroghene Okrokoto in New York…Threatens: ‘I’m gonna split your head, Did you make Money?’
*Police Arrest Joseph Mattarelliano, Faces Weapon Possession and Menacing as a Hate Crime’
*Parishioners at Brooklyn Roman Catholic church expresses Gratitude to God for Priest’s Safety
BY SAMSON SHOAGA/MANAGING EDITOR in BROOKLYN
HE JUST RETURNED FROM NIGERIA, after a short vacation to Africa’s most populous nation to see his family relations. Rev. Uriroghene Okrokoto of the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church in Marine Park got the shock of his life as an unknown man who he has never met before, a purely white guy whom the police later discovered to be Joseph Mattarelliano shouted down at him as if he had earlier had a quarrel of any sort with him. The Nigerian born American priest was transfixed and shocked at such threats hurled at him.
Mattarelliano made an alleged racial-hate attack on a priest who had just arrived from Nigeria which shocked parishioners at a Brooklyn Roman Catholic church. “Go back to the projects!” police say Joseph Mattarelliano shouted at the Rev. Uriroghene Okrokoto of the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church in Marine Park. “Or your neighborhood in Flatbush where you came from,” railed a bat-wielding Mattarelliano, 25, according to police sources.
“Otherwise I’m gonna split your head. What are you doing in my neighborhood? Did you make money? Leave this f—ing neighborhood, you f—ing n—er,”Mattarelliano, who is white, asked the priest, eye-witness account said.
Sources said Okrokoto answered, “If you have a problem with me, you should call the police.” Mattarelliano sped off in his SUV — but Okrokoto got the license-plate number. Okrokoto was not wearing clerical garb when the man approached him on Jan. 13 at 3:45 a.m. at Avenue T and Ford Street.
Mattarelliano surrendered Friday at the 61st Precinct station house. He was charged with weapon possession and menacing as a hate crime. Janet Subrizi, a lifelong member of the church who works in its office, said Okrokoto was ordained in June and goes by-Father Melchizedek.”
Subrizi said she and another parishioner drove him around the neighborhood when he was first assigned to Good Shepherd, showing him where to catch the subway and local buses. “Knowing him, I think he would pray for the person and not hold any kind of fear or any kind of hurt in his heart against that man,” Subrizi said.
A spokesman said the Brooklyn Diocese was happy to hear there’s been an arrest.