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Suspect in assault of pastor appears in court

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HARTFORD –The man police said is responsible for robbing and assaulting a Hartford pastor outside his church on New Park Avenue appeared in court Monday and had his bail increased.

Police said Raheem Rankine, 20 of East Hartford assaulted Pastor Luis Borges during a Craigslist transaction for a $400 iPhone. Rankine was arraigned Monday and was charged with assault and robbery. He is being held on $600,000 bond.

Police said Borges met Rankine and another suspect outside the First Assembly of God Church on New Park Avenue to make the exchange around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10th.  The pastor along with his son and 20 year daughter were attending a baby shower at the church at the time.

The pastor returned to the church, and as both parties exchanged the items, Police said  Rankine took the money and iPhone, and a second man in a black sweatshirt ran up and punched Borges in the head, knocking him to the ground. Both ran off with the money and the phone and ran into a Chrysler Sebring, according to Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

Police are still searching for the second suspect.