Louisiana pastor who defied COVID-19 order arrested for driving church bus at pro-lockdown protester
Tony Spell (WAFB/screen grab)

A Louisiana pastor who has refused to halt services during the coronavirus pandemic was arrested this week after he was accused of threatening a protester with a church bus.


The Associated Press reported that pastor Tony Spell had turned himself in to the Baton Rouge Central Police Department and "was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and improper backing."

Police department spokesperson Debbie Dougherty said that Spell had backed his church bus in the direction of a person who was protesting against the decision to continue holding services.

The pastor was already facing a misdemeanor charge for continuing church services in spite of a stay-at-home order. Authorities said that they initially declined to jail him because the prison system is experiencing a large number of COVID-19 cases.

Spell also had outstanding traffic tickets, the report said.

In a telephone interview with WFAB-TV on Monday, Spell admitted that he was driving the chuch bus when the incident occurred.

Another aggravated assault arrest warrant was issued for church member Nathan Boyce Thomas after video showed him stopping his white truck just a foot from one protester.