A knife-wielding man who broke up a Sunday morning church service pointed the gun at the senior pastor, whom he had told days earlier he was going to ‘expose the church’, according to a report by Las Vegas police arrest.
On Tuesday, Jonathan Stetor, 37, who faces a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, remained at the Clark County Detention Center without bond, according to Las Vegas court records.
Police responded around 11:40 a.m. at the Liberty Baptist Church in the 6500 block of West Lake Mead Boulevard and arrested Stetor outside without further incident.
Stetor had walked mid-service, stood in the middle of the church and “beckoned” the senior pastor to come to him while waving a knife, police said.
The pastor, who said he was trying to “distract” the attention of his parishioners, approached Stetor.
When the pastor approached, Stetor pointed the knife at him, shouting “look, I have a knife” and “don’t come near me”, the suspect later reminded police.
Stetor eventually got out, police said.
The pastor told police he spoke to Stetor earlier in the week, who expressed his displeasure with the church trying to “indoctrinate” him, according to the arrest report.
In an interview with detectives after his arrest, Stetor spoke of conspiracies, saying he went to the church to “expose” the pastor and was afraid the church leader would kill him, a said the police.
Stetor said he only took out the knife in self-defense and no one in the church was afraid of him, police said.
But several witnesses, including the pastor, told police they feared for their safety, the report said.
Stetor is then due in court on Wednesday morning. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.
On Tuesday, church officials did not respond to a request for comment.