Pastor Leon McCray of Lighthouse Church and Marketplace Ministries International in Virginia called on 911 for help against White trespassers who allegedly attacked him verbally and physically after he told them to quit dumping trash on his property, and instead, was met with an arrest.
On June 1, he noticed two people trying to dump a refrigerator on his property. He said one man verbally attacked him, and the other went to get three more people.
“I informed these individuals that they were trespassing and that they couldn’t dump their refrigerator on my property, and I asked them to leave. They became irate and verbally attacked me,” he said on Facebook Live. “Being threatened and being in fear for my life, I took and felt compelled to pull my concealed weapon — legal concealed weapon — to save my life. And when I did that, finally, these individuals backed up long enough for me to call 911.”
When police arrived, they took his gun without asking him what was going on and confronted the group of white people still throwing racial slurs and threats his way. When officers returned to the pastor, they arrested him for flashing his gun at the group who threatened his life. He was handcuffed and arrested in front of his attackers.
When McCray was released from custody that night, he wrote a letter to officials and scheduled a meeting with Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter who later apologized for what happened.
“Mr. McCray met with me on Wednesday the 3rd of June, and after talking with him about the incident, it was apparent to me that the charge of brandishing was certainly not appropriate,” the Sheriff said in a statement. “Actually, as I told Mr. McCray, if I were faced with similar circumstances, I would have probably done the same thing.”
Charges against Pastor McCray have been dropped and his attackers have been arrested and charged with assault by a mob and hate crime. Two of the local police department supervisors were placed on unpaid administrative leave.