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Police release images of men wanted over Wakeley church riot

Scenes outside the Christ the Good Shepherd Church

Source: AAP

One of 12 people whose pictures have been released by NSW Police following last week’s riot outside a Wakeley church where a priest was stabbed has been identified.

Strike Force Dribs released the pictures as it investigates last Monday’s violent incident, which followed the alleged attack of 53-year-old Assyrian bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel.

So far, three men have been charged over their alleged involvement in the incident. All three remain before the courts.

NSW Police said on Monday afternoon that one of the people in the latest images had also since been identified. He is assisting police with their inquiries.

Superintendent Andrew Evans said earlier that while many people were involved in the riot, the 12 men whose pictures had been released were being targeted because of what was considered the “violent and aggressive nature of their actions”.

“We are doing everything we can to identify these men and are now appealing for public assistance. Someone in the community knows who they are,” Evans said.

Person A. Photo: NSW Police

He said there were about 2000 people outside the Christ the Good Shepherd Church shortly after Emmanuel was stabbed during a live-streamed service. Police believe about 50 were there “to start problems”.

“We know that there’s groups of families involved that have gone there to support their parishioners, and we’re not looking for those people,” he said.

“We’re looking to speak with them if they can provide us information about the people involved.”

In the scrum that followed the stabbing, one officer had his jaw broken. Another suffered facial and knee injuries, while 104 police cars were also damaged.

“This group of 12 is probably the main people we want to speak to start with … Their actions at this time obviously influenced others to take action,” Evans said.

He said many of the people outside the church were apparently drawn by the live-streaming of the alleged attack.

The teenager accused of the stabbing was restrained inside the church in the immediate aftermath. As police and paramedics arrived, they also had to shelter inside the church.

“It’s one of the problems with social media, [information] gets out so quickly. People have made their own decisions to come to that location. I can’t say what a single person’s thoughts might be at this time, but again, some people have definitely come there for the wrong reasons,” Evans said.

“The young person involved was kept inside the church. That caused ongoing angst amongst some of the community members. Once we were able to get the young person out of the church, the group was able to dissipate fairly quickly.”

Evans said concerns about targeting particular religious locations or Muslim women had also been an issue across Sydney in the past week.

“There has been some sort of peaceful negotiations between both the Muslim and the Assyrian community. We’re hoping that is the standard set by the community now,” he said.

Church riot suspects

The first man (Person A) is described as being of Caucasian appearance, medium build, with a tattoo of Jesus on his stomach and a full tattoo sleeve on his left arm.

He is shown wearing black jeans that cut off at the ankle, black belt, dark coloured shoes and a black shirt wrapped around his face.

Person B. Photo: NSW Police

The second man (Person B) is of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance, with receding dark brown hair and a beard. He is shown wearing a black jumper, grey pants, black shoes and carrying a grey shoulder bag.

Person C. Photo: NSW Police

The third man (Person C) is of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance, with short black hair and beard. He is shown wearing a grey V-neck shirt, dark jeans and white shoes.

Person D. Photo: NSW Police

The fourth man (Person D) is described as medium build. He is shown wearing a grey hooded jumper, grey shorts, black socks and white shoes.

Person E. Photo: NSW Police

The fifth man (Person E) is of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance, muscular build, tan complexion, with a dark coloured beard. He is shown wearing a Nike hat, black singlet, grey cargo pants and white shoes.

Person F. Photo: NSW Police

The sixth man (Person F) is shown wearing a T-shirt, a ring and a watch on his left hand and carrying a cross.

Person G. Photo: NSW Police

The seventh man (Person G) is of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance. He is shown wearing a black jumper with yellow writing, a white hat and white shoes.

Person H. Photo: NSW Police

The eighth man (Person H) is shown wearing a T-shirt and carrying a fire extinguisher.

Person I. Photo: NSW Police

The ninth man (Person I) is described as having short dark hair and a beard. He is shown wearing a hooded jumper, dark pants and a black shoulder bag.

Person J. Photo: NSW Police

The 10th man (Person J) is of large appearance, bald with a goatee. He is shown wearing a dark jumper with writing around the collar.

Person K. Photo: NSW Police

The 11th man (Person K) has his hair in braids and has a dark beard. He is shown wearing a black hooded jumper, tracksuit pants and socks with slides.

Person L. Photo: NSW Police

The 12th man (Person L) is shown wearing a dark singlet, dark shoes and light-coloured shorts.

Anyone who can identify the men or provide any information is urged to contact Fairfield Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

-with AAP

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