A 21-year-old man was arrested Monday after statements he made and behavior he exhibited at First United Methodist Church in Covington caused several people to become concerned.
According to Covington Police Department Lt. Paul Dailey, members and employees of the church brought some information to the CPD that there was a man making strange comments to church members and staff.
John Wilson Strawbridge’s father had been the music director at the church several years ago, and since he was dismissed from the position, Strawbridge’s had held a grudge against the church. His comments, according to Dailey, centered on people he felt he "needed to get even with."
"He never made direct threats to the people that he was talking to — they [the threats] were all about other people," said Dailey.
However, he did make several staff members uneasy, according to Dailey. So detectives issued a criminal trespass warrant last Wednesday, which prohibited Strawbridge from contacting church staff or being on the property. They also spoke with him and he allegedly told them that he sometimes spoke before thinking. Through his own admission, detectives found that Strawbridge had purchased a gun on Saturday.
"He’s never been arrested and he isn’t a felon, so he can own a gun," said Dailey, who added, the "timing was not good," for the purchase.
After speaking with District Attorney Layla Zon, detectives determined they had enough probable cause to charge Strawbridge with terroristic threats and he was arrested Monday and charged, according to Dailey. He was released on bond with several stipulations this afternoon.
Off-duty officers have been working security at the church and will continue to do so if asked, said Dailey.