*Even before Creflo Dollar, the Atlanta based mega-church pastor who was arrested on Friday or assaulting his 15 year-old daughter denied the assault, it should come as no surprise that his supporters have rushed to his defense.
“It’s just something that’s been blown out of proportion,” said Randi Garrett, a longtime member of Dollar’s World Changers Church International told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Kids misconstrue things, and they take them out of context.”
However, according to the paper, the Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies say they found ample evidence to charge the controversial televangelist with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children.
Dollar’s 15-year-old daughter alleged her father grabbed her by the throat in the family’s home on Sandy Creek Road in Fayette County, pushed her to the ground and then beat her with his shoe, according to the incident report. The AJC is not identifying the girl because she is a minor.
The lone witness to Friday morning’s altercation, Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter Alexandria, confirmed her sibling’s account, telling deputies their father “put both hands around her sister’s neck and choked her for about five seconds,” the incident report said.
Alexandria Dollar said she then saw Dollar grab her little sister by the shoulders and slap her in the face. She says her sister tried to break free but was thrown to the ground, at which point Alexandria ran to get her mother, Taffi, whose arrival in the kitchen ended the fight, the incident report states.
Sheriff’s spokesman Brent Rowan said the teen sustained “superficial injuries” to her neck
Deputies were summoned to the Dollars’ home around 1 a.m. after receiving a 911 call. Dollar, who preaches that God will bless the faithful with earthly rewards, said he was merely trying to restrain his daughter, who he claims was acting disrespectful after he forbid her from attending a party.
Pastor Dollar told deputies that while he was holding his daughter, she began to hit back. After wrestling her to the floor, the pastor said he then spanked the teen and sent her to her room, according to the report.
“As a father, I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children,” Dollar said in a statement released through his attorney, Nikki Bonner. “The facts in this case will be handled privately to further protect my children.”
Dollar, whose church website says he serves more than 30,000 members at the College Park campus and another 6,000 at an affiliate church in New York, has defended corporal punishment in past sermons.
Read/learn more at AJC.com.