Church Crasher Arrested in Berkeley Springs

A man who crashed a church service at the Union Chapel United Methodist Church was arrested on Sunday.

Jeremiah Goodwin, 38, of Tri-Lake Park in Berkeley Springs, was arrested and sent to Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg in lieu of $20,000 cash bond.

Morgan County Sheriff K.C. Bohrer said that Goodwin came into the narthex of Union Chapel United Methodist Church on Sunday “acting strangely and trying to get children to sign water bottles for him.”

“The security team became concerned and escorted the defendant from the church and he left,” Bohrer said. “The pastor’s wife notified the Sheriff and provided a description of the vehicle and registration number. Sheriff Bohrer performed a criminal history check and learned the vehicle owner had a criminal history. Sheriff Bohrer, at home, put out a suspicious person broadcast to on duty officers.”

“Soon after Sheriff Bohrer was once again called and informed the defendant had returned to the church and was screaming, shouting and was attempting to forcibly enter the church.”

“Church security team members had locked the door and the screaming man began to kick it forcefully to the point the door opened.”

“Fearing their safety and the safety of the congregation security members stopped further aggression and entry.”

The church is located ten miles south of Berkeley Springs on US 522 near Oakland Road.

Bohrer said “the man drove recklessly in the church parking lot before turning south on US 522.” 

“Sheriff Bohrer was notified and left home to respond, locating the person in the vicinity of Fish Hatchery Road where Bohrer stopped the vehicle. Bohrer placed the man in custody and requested additional units to assist. Chief Walter, Deputies Roper and Knotts and Cpl. Padilla responded to assist. Goodwin was transported to magistrate court.”

Goodwin was arraigned before Magistrate Kermit Ambrose and incarcerated in the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of $20,000 cash only bond.

Bohrer said that the investigation is ongoing into possible charges of reckless driving, resisting arrest and disturbing a worship service.

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