Man Seen Fleeing Priest / Say He Chased Young Man

By Dan Morrison
July 10, 1996

Thomas Morrow, police say, is out of control.

The psychologist-priest, who is out on $75,000 bail after he was charged in the stabbing of a potential sex partner, was being sought again by cops after neighbors Sunday saw a young man run screaming and bloodied from Morrow's Forest Hills office.

Morrow, police sources said, jumped into his Nissan Altima and pursued the blond man, believed to be between 16 and 20 years old. Neither has been seen since, but detectives believe Morrow is holed up in his Rego Park home.

His arrest, sources said, is imminent, this time for possession of a controlled substance. Police responding to 911 calls of "a man screaming for help" said they found a small amount of "bazooka," a smokable form of cocaine, in Morrow's basement office Sunday night.

Morrow has not been charged in connection with the Sunday night violence because the young man has not been located, police said.

Morrow's lawyer, Michael Prieto, did not return a call seeking comment.

The wood-paneled office, at 99-27 66th Ave., was littered with overturned lounge chairs, broken picture frames and a toppled magazine rack. "It was obviously the site of a struggle," an investigator said.

Law-enforcement sources said Morrow is known to pick up male prostitutes and trade drugs and cash for sex.

Morrow, 51, a state-licensed psychologist, has been on a leave of absence from the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens since 1987.

He was arrested June 12 for taking pictures of a nude boy - a patient - in his home. Weeks later, he allegedly stabbed John Vasquez, 25, after Vasquez and another man joined Morrow for drugs and sex, police sources said.

Police are contacting Morrow's current and former patients - or their parents - in search of other improper conduct and are about halfway through his patient list, sources said.

Police have also received several calls from concerned parents who read of the priest's troubles in Newsday.

One former patient, a 17-year-old boy, told police Morrow made unsuccessful advances at him several times over a few months.

Many of Morrow's patients were youths who had gotten into trouble with the law, and were referred to the priest by the Family Court, sources said.


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