A Louisiana pastor who has defied state orders against large gatherings was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly backing his church bus dangerously close to a protester.
Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in the city of Central, near Ba ton Rouge, was charged with aggravated assault in connection to the incident that was caught on tape, police said.
The incident happened Sunday on the side of a road in front of the suspect’s church.
Spell, wearing a suit and tie, was handcuffed as he turned himself in Tuesday morning.
Central police chief Roger Corcoran said local authorities are trying to enforce the law and insisted that Spell isn’t being denied his freedom to practice religion.
“They’re trying to make a mockery of this, like he’s some kind of victim,” Corcoran told on Monday night. “No one, not one person, is trying to stop him from preaching the word.”