Snake-handling former reality star pastor accused of firing gun during ‘domestic dispute’
A snake-handling preacher and former National Geographic Channel reality star was arrested in Tennessee late Sunday night on aggravated assault and felony reckless endangerment charges, The Tennessean reports.
Police say that Andrew Hamblin — formerly of the reality show Snake Salvation, which was cancelled after his co-star Jaime Coots died from a snake bite — was involved in what is being called a “domestic dispute” in which shots were allegedly fired.
No one was injured in the dispute, but Detective Josh Carroll and Deputy Raymond Surber believed the situation volatile enough to require Hamblin’s arrest. He will be arraigned later today on one count of aggravated assault and six counts of felony reckless endangerment.
In Tennessee, felony reckless endangerment involves “intentionally or knowingly…acted with a culpable disregard of foreseeable consequences to others.”
Hamblin gained national attention for his star turn alongside Coots on the National Geographic reality show, Snake Salvation. After its cancellation, however, he was charged with illegally keeping dangerous snakes, a crime in Tennessee specifically designed to deter snake-handling.
Snake-handlers like Hamblin believe that their ability to carry — and frequently dance with — venomous snakes is one of “the signs of the gospels,” which are found in Mark 16: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”