Megachurch pastor Tony Spell, who recently got in trouble for defying state orders and repeatedly held large church services during the coronavirus pandemic has been arrested again —this time for assaulting a protester outside his church, according to CNN.
Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was taken into police custody Tuesday on a warrant for his arrest over aggravated assault, the news outlet reported, citing a statement from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.
The arrest warrant was based on video evidence of an incident that occurred Sunday, Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said.
A witness told officers that the day of the incident Spell was driving a church bus and backed it up on the shoulder of a road in the direction of a protester demonstrating in front of the church.
A witness told officers that he saw the bus continue to back up “for no apparent reason”, forcing the protester to scramble to avoid injury.
According to the report, Surveillance video was consistent with what the witness saw and appeared to suggest that Spell was driving the bus, the warrant stated.
Spell was able top post bond and was released the same day. He told a cheering crowd of his parishioners that he’s not guilty of the charges and will hold church services Tuesday night.
“I am not guilty of any charges that I have been accused of,” Spell said. “I am not guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. I am not guilty of defying any orders. The only thing I am guilty of is practicing my faith, which was given to me by Jesus Christ himself.”