An East Palo Alto man charged with the unprovoked attack of a priest and three others at a church parking lot last summer pleaded no contest to the crime Wednesday in a San Mateo County courtroom.
Juan Antonio Perez, 41, is charged with felony elder abuse and felony assault for the July incident, according to prosecutors.
On July 13, Perez, who was under the influence of methamphetamine, approached the victim, an 89-year-old priest, as he walked through the parking lot of St. Francis De Assisi Church, located at 1425 Bay Road in East Palo Alto, prosecutors said.
The elderly man was using a metal cane to walk. Perez took the victim's cane from him and began beating the victim with it until it broke, according to prosecutors.
A witness tried to stop the attack by attempting to disarm Perez. However, he struck the person with the part of the cane that he was still holding and fled on foot, prosecutors said.
Two brothers who also witnessed the assault attempted to pursue Perez. But he struck one of the brothers with the cane, before taking multiple swings at the other.
The pair was ultimately able to subdue Perez until police arrived, according to prosecutors.
Paramedics at the scene treated all four victims, none of whom sustained any major injuries.
Perez remains in custody on $175,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on Dec. 8.