At 10:30 a.m. on Friday, there was a knock on the door of New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Somerville, New Jersey. Pastor Jairon Peña (below) opened it up, only to find two men and one woman wearing masks and gloves:
… he was accosted by the three suspects who physically attacked him and removed bibles from the pews scattering them throughout the church, authorities said.
Pena claimed the suspects also stomped on bibles while ridiculing his God. The trio, he told investigators, tied his hands and legs, placed a rag in his mouth and a bag over his head, along with the two pieces of paper which were taped to him, authorities said.
Scary stuff. But the police had plenty of reason to doubt his story.
It included several contradictions.
He wasn’t injured in the way you’d expect given that type of assault.
One of the pieces of paper included an Islamic phrase… which was misspelled.
Eventually, Peña confessed to making it all up due to “personal events in his life,” whatever that means. The pastor is now being charged for lying to the cops:
Pena was charged with third-degree false public alarm and fourth-degree false swearing and fictitious report to law enforcement, a disorderly persons offense. He was processed and released on his own recognizance pending a court appearance.
There’s no word yet on why he went through the charade. Maybe he wanted Christians to fundraise on his behalf like they did for the anti-gay bakers? Maybe he wanted to prove “Christian persecution” was a real thing? Whatever it was, at least he didn’t get away with it.
(Image via Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. Thanks to Jim for the link)