A Minnesota pastor is facing charges after he followed two teens out of a store and assaulted one of the with pepper-spray after identifying himself as a cop.
According to WCCO, Keith Douglas Haskell, 55, who is the pastor at the Bridges of Hope Community Church, is facing five counts of misdemeanor fifth degree assault as well as charges of impersonating a policeman.
According to one of the victims, Abraam Rodriguez, he said he and his cousin went to a store. He admitted that the two of them stole approximately $10 in snacks and were then followed by Haskell out the door.
The police report states that Haskell confronted the teens after he followed them in their car then identified himself as a police officer.
“He’s like, ‘Put your hands up, put your hands up, I’m a cop. I need you to get out the vehicle,’” Rodriguez said, adding that Haskell tried to physically pull his cousin out of the car, setting off a scuffle that led to the pastor using pepper-spray.
“I thought he was a police officer, that’s why I didn’t do anything,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not going to not follow orders of a cop.”
According to the police report, Rodriguez claimed Haskell took his car keys from him and tried to take his cell phone away as he was calling his mother for help
Rodriguez's mother said she came out and observed Haskell pinning her son up against the SUV, with Haskell admitting he was holding a baton at the time.
“I was actually pretty scared because if he was a cop and you see all those videos of cops, police brutality and stuff,” Rodriguez said.
Haskell's attorney, Chris Ritt, claimed his client was the real victim.
“The police investigation is absurd and flawed. My client was the victim. We will fight these allegations in the courts,” with Haskell due in court on November 30.
You can watch the video below via WCCO: