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Assault Complaints Filed after Incident at Church

By dwilkerson@wbbjtv.com
By Daniel Wilkerson

A gay Gibson County couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday.

"I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say 'sick'em,'" said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr.

Pittman said the attacked was prompted by the pastor of the church, Jerry Pittman, his father.

"My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad's request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn't help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back," said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

"If I was on the scene I would not have allowed that. The deputy should not have allowed it if he did," said Gibson County Sheriff Chuck Arnold.

Pittman said neither he nor Lee were allowed to press charges while at the church.

"I haven't talk to him but that would be out of character for my deputy to say unless they were causing a problem themselves," said Sheriff Arnold.

Friday, the couple filed assault charges against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Pittman pressed additional charges against his father and Deacon Patrick Flatt. Pastor Pittman's attorney contacted ABC 7 Eyewitness News by phone and said she had no comment and demanded we not contact the pastor.

All parties are due in court October 4.