A fight broke out Sunday outside a local house of worship that resulted in multiple arrests of churchgoers by the Roswell Police Department, officials said. Interim Chief Dennis Kintigh told reporters Monday that ongoing disturbances between members of the Old Paths Baptist Church and city residents over the weekend culminated with a physical altercation outside of Church on the Move.
The fight sent a Church on the Move pastor to the hospital. â€œWhat we have here is a group of people who are behaving in a way that cause other people to feel uncomfortable,â€ said Interim Chief Dennis Kintigh.
â€œTo my knowledge, this is the first instance of actual violence.â€ Jeremy De Los Santos, of the Old Paths Baptist Church, along with Caesar Chavez and Rolando Iglecias were arrested after police say protesting turned physical.
Iglecias is accused of pushing 63- year -old Church on the Move Associate Pastor Savino Sanchez to the ground and hitting him, according to police records. â€œI do not know what triggered the physical altercation,â€ Kintigh said. Iglecias was charged with battery and disturbing lawful assembly. De Los Santos and Chavez were arrested for being party to unlawful acts and disturbing lawful assembly.
â€œThis is the second time theyâ€™ve come on to our campus. We filed a trespass order against them and obviously, they didnâ€™t follow that,â€ said Church on the Move Pastor Troy Smothermon, though adding, â€œWe have no bitterness or hatred toward them, An arrest citation was given to the assaulted pastorâ€™s son, Savino Sanchez II, after police say he exited his vehicle with a metal baseball bat and approached several of the men who battered his father, according to court documents.
Kintigh said the fight took place a day after De Los Santos and others caused disturbances outside of two different Roswell churches. Police were called to the Salon del Reino de Los Testigos de Jehovah at about noon and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, he said. De Los Santos has previously been arrested by the RPD following similar protests. He and his cousin, Eddie De Los Santos, were arrested Sept. 29 during an outdoor church service at Old Paths Baptist Church. Jeremy De Los Santos was also arrested on April 16 after preaching with a megaphone outside of Bill Rayâ€™s Restaurant.
Old Paths Baptist Church Pastor Joshua De Los Santos, Jeremyâ€™s brother, declined to comment.