In addition to any potential legal consequences, criminal accusations may also negatively affect a person’s reputation. This is especially true when the accused person is a leader in his or her community. A Minnesota pastor is now working with an attorney after facing criminal charges related to an alleged attempt at vigilante justice.
Reports indicate that the pastor witnessed two teenage boys trying to steal snacks from a grocery store. He then allegedly went out to the parking lot to take down the teens’ license plate number. Police say that he then followed the teens to an apartment complex where he approached them, pretending to be a police officer. He supposedly grabbed at one of them and then sprayed the boy with pepper spray after the boy tried to hit him.
After his arrest, the pastor told police that he was attempting to execute a citizen’s arrest. He is now facing multiple criminal charges. The charges against him are five counts of misdemeanor assault, one count of impersonating a peace officer and one count of unlawful use of tear gas, which is a felony. His court appearance is scheduled for the end of November.
Whether a misdemeanor or a felony, criminal charges can result in serious consequences if convictions are obtained. Those facing such charges would likely benefit from consulting experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. An attorney could work toward ensuring a person’s legal rights are protected as well as help to build a strong defense to present before court.
Source: citypages.com, “Charges: Owatonna pastor Keith Haskell faked being a cop, pepper-sprayed teen shoplifter“, Mike Mullen, Oct. 26, 2017