Pastor, deacons accused of assaulting gay couple
A gay Tennessee couple has filed complaints against against a pastor and four deacons who they say assaulted them while trying to attend Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland late last month.
Jerry Pittman Jr. and his boyfriend told WBBJ that they were attacked by several deacons at the request of his father, Pastor Jerry Pittman.
“I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,” the younger Pittman explained.
“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back.”
Pittman added that even after officers arrived, the deacons continued yelling anti-gay slurs.
“If I was on the scene I would not have allowed that,” Gibson County Sheriff Chuck Arnold said. “The deputy should not have allowed it if he did.”
Officers on the scene did not allow Pittman or his boyfriend to press charges while still at the church.
The couple was finally able to file assault charges Friday against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Additional charges were filed against Pastor Pittman and Deacon Patrick Flatt.
The case will be go before a judge Wednesday.
Watch this video from WBBJ, broadcast Sept. 28, 2011.