A city man who allegedly destroyed furniture and urinated on the floor of a Bay Street church is facing half a dozen criminal charges.
Joel L. Davila, 19, whose last known address is 13 State St., will be charged with intimidation of a witness or police officer, a felony; threatening to commit a crime; destruction of property over $1,200; disturbing the peace; and vandalism of a church, the Enterprise reported.
Police said they were called to the Broken Chains Biker Church, previously known as St. John’s Episcopal Church, at around 7:30 p.m. Thursday for a report of an individual, described as a man wearing slippers, who was destroying items inside the building.
Police said the reporting party who called police indicated Davila had locked himself in a room inside the church.
When they walked inside the building at 370 Bay St. police said they immediately came in contact with Davila, who they described as sweating heavily and exhibiting “a thousand-yard stare.”
Davila, police said, exhibited strange behavior, including rolling his eyes back in his head, screaming, making comments about demons and stating a hatred for God and Christians.
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He also at one point allegedly threatened officers and their families.
When a police officer told Davila he was making people in the building nervous — especially in light of a recent deadly shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue — he reportedly was oblivious and continued making statements about demons and religion.
Davila, police said, also appeared to be “talking in tongues,” made comments about being possessed by a demon and “attempted to lure officers in (in order to) kill them and eat their bodies.”
Police said they handcuffed and transported Davila to Morton Hospital, because he presented a potential threat to ambulance personnel.
At the hospital, police said, Davila continued to act in an incoherent manner but also admitted that what he had done was wrong.
He allegedly attributed his bizarre behavior to the fact that the band in the church didn’t play music he liked.
The Broken Chains Biker Church, which is affiliated with the Assemblies of God church group, established itself in Taunton last August, relocating from Holbrook after buying the church and adjacent parsonage building.
Pastor Tom “Flathead” Iddings wasn’t at the church when the incident occurred.
Iddings, 61, said Friday that members of the church’s “music team,” or band, were rehearsing rock and roll and blues songs when Davila walked in and said he wanted to be exorcised.
“Our music team is extremely loving and thoughtful, but most of us (congregants) are armed and prepared to deal with command and control situations,” Iddings said.
Iddings said that while his church is “always willing to lead you to Jesus Christ,” it will not stand idly by if someone attempts to harm any of its members or visitors.
“We will not roll over and become a victim; we will not allow it,” he said, adding: “We’re the church that shoots back.”