The man wanted for the brutal beating of a church parishioner in Grass Valley was arrested Thursday night when an observant citizen spotted the injured woman’s stolen car in a store parking lot.
At about 8:30 p.m. Thursday a woman spotted the Honda Accord belonging to 78-year-old Mary Grace Tassone, a volunteer at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Grass Valley. The car was parked in the K-Mart lot on McNight Street in Grass Valley.
A man was sitting inside the vehicle, the tipster told police. Officers rushed to the scene and took Alan Kierkegaard, 50, of Nevada County, into custody. An arrest warrant had been issued earlier in the week for Kierkegaard.
Tassone’s car was towed from the scene to be searched for forensic evidence.
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The longime parishioner was found near the side of the church, which she opens for services and prepares for masses, at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday. She suffered head trauma in the 5:15 a.m attack and was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where she underwent surgery.
She is in a critical but stable condition, said Greg Tassone, her nephew and family spokesman. He said she is making improvements, but that her recovery will be a “long, slow process.”
“As a family, we are asking that people who are inclined to pray for her, (to) keep doing that,” he said.