NEW YORK — A confrontation during a Sunday sermon in Brooklyn landed two people behind bars, including a bishop who argues he was protecting his family.
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke to both people involved and has the video from Canarsie.
During a live-streamed Sunday service at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries,appeared to get disrupted.
The bishop says it all started when two women came into the church mid-sermon.
“One of my ministers told them you cannot record, and they began to make a scene, so I told them ‘let them record, let them record.’ They began recording and she began to outburst,” Whitehead said.
Police say when a woman was asked to stop recording and leave, she began to antagonize the bishop and approach him on stage. As she walked past Bishop Whitehead, he appears to grab her from behind, and they move off camera.
“You see her walk in front of me, going after my wife and my daughter, and I grabbed her,” Whitehead said.
He says he was worried about his family and thinking back to the moment in July when he was.
“That’s the only thing I could remember. This lady had a bag under her arm and she was going after my wife, and I grabbed her and I took her out and I pushed her out,” he said.
The woman in the video, 47-year-old Tarsha Howard, was arrested and charged with trespass and disrupting a religious service. She showed DeAngelis her injury and made a brief statement.
“I am telling you right now I did not charge after his wife. It’s on video and everyone can see that I was the one that was assaulted, and after this statement he will hear from my attorney,” she told DeAngelis.
The bishop was also taken into custody, but shortly after released. Now he’s criticizing the NYPD’s handling of the incident.
“I was treated like a criminal. I went from the pulpit to the cell for no reason. The New York Police Department failed me and failed my church,” Whitehead said.
The NYPD said, because of crowd control, both the bishop and Howard were taken to the 69th precinct for further investigation.
Whitehead wants the NYPD to take action so there are no copycat crimes.
Whitehead this was all a set up and thinks two bloggers sent the women his way for clout. Both of the men, religious commentators, spoke with DeAngelis over the phone. One said he didn’t know the women before this. The other says the women have been guests on his show but he doesn’t personally know them and he had nothing to do with this incident.