As Glen stated in an earlier post, when people get emotional, tempers and actions can get out of control. Here is an example of that exact situation that has just occurred in a church here is southwest Ohio. Fortunately, weapons were not involved. It does not appear from initial reports that the church had a security team.
Arrested Springfield Man Has Criminal Past, Calls Himself Militant Atheist
Springfield, Ohio – Channel 7 News
A self-described militant Atheist with a criminal past faces multiple charges after an attack on a pastor who, after his sermon, had asked the man’s girlfriend if she felt safe.
James Maxie, 28, of Springfield, is charged with second-degree felonious assault and misdemeanor resisting arrest after an incident Sunday at The Bridge Community Church, 105 N. Main St., in North Hampton.
Police Chief Jarrod Campbell said in his 11 years with the department, he’s rarely dealt with “an incident this brutal.”
The Rev. Norman Hayes, 57, said he feared for his life and begged for the attack to stop. Hayes suffered a broken nose, bruises and three long cuts that required stitches across his face.
“I questioned his girlfriend in his presence if she felt safe,” Hayes said. “He was very, very upset that I’d even suggest that he would hurt her. Then he turned around and hurt me very badly.”
Hayes said Maxie was argumentative and confrontational during the service.
“It looked like he was looking for an argument,” Hayes said.
Maxie and the girlfriend, who attends the church, approached Hayes after the service. She told police that Hayes asked her if Maxie was abusing her, and Maxie became furious, striking pastor several times in the face in the church hallway.
“He came from nowhere and hit me … and knocked me down, and then he got on top of me and just kept hitting me over and over,” Hayes said. He pleaded for the beating to stop, stating he thought Maxie would kill him.
“It was fortunate he did stop,” Hayes said. “I really believe my life was in danger if he hadn’t stopped hitting me in the face over and over.”
Maxie and his girlfriend left the church on foot, and Maxie ran into a cornfield after he was spotted by two North Hampton officers who were responding to the scene. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search for Maxie, and a deputy located him hiding behind a home in the 100 block of South Main Street. He was booked into the Clark County Jail.
It’s not believed Maxie used any sort of object or weapon in the attack, just his fists, Campbell said. Injuries on Maxie’s right hand were consistent with repeated punching. The brutality of the beating in addition to the location are why police charged Maxie with a felony, Campbell said.
“Churches are somewhere where people go to worship their particular religion, and violence is usually the last thing you see,” he said.
Campbell is working with the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office to see if additional charges should be filed.