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The Florida megachurch pastor who made nationwide headlines for holding crowded services Sunday has been arrested Monday afternoon for defying authorities orders amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fox Information has confirmed.
Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of The River at Tampa Bay Church, argued his congregation was important, on par with Walmart. Nevertheless, regulation enforcement officers, who stated they tried to purpose with him, disagreed, charging him with “illegal meeting” and “violation of public well being emergency order,” Fox 29 reported.
“We’re hoping that this serves as a deterrent,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister stated throughout a information convention Monday alongside State Legal professional Andrew Warren.
The pastor was arrested and launched 40 minutes later in Hernando County the place he lives, based on the jail.
“Disgrace on this pastor, their authorized workers, and the leaders of this church for forcing us to do our job,” Chronister added. “That is not what we wished to do throughout a declared state of emergency.”
The River at Tampa Bay Church held two providers Sunday, Chronister stated, and even provided bus transportation for these providers. The chuch’s livestream confirmed a packed crowd cheering and applauding.
“They’ve entry to know-how permitting them to livestream their providers over the web and broadcast to their 400 members from the protection of their very own properties, however as a substitute they selected to collect at church,” Chronister defined.
Warren added that “placing your parishioners in danger in a time of emergency like this isn’t solely reckless, however unlawful… Loving your neighbors is defending them… not exposing them to this virus.”
New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio threatened to close down any homes of worship that defied the state’s stay-at-home mandates.