Pastor Tony Spell ordered to obey state's stay-at-home as bond condition
CENTRAL - Police warned pastor Tony Spell this week that he'd find himself back in jail if he again failed to heed the governor's stay-at-home order.
According to documents filed after Spell's arrest for aggravated assault this week, one of the conditions of his bond is that he refrain from all criminal conduct, including "strictly abiding by all emergency orders issued by the Governor of the State of Louisiana."
Spell was charged earlier this month after he flagrantly defied the state's stay-at-home order by holding services at Life Tabernacle Church. He was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly came just feet away from running over a protester while driving a church bus.
Central Police say surveillance video caught the bus stopping partway down the church driveway and backing up back toward the entrance, where a protester was standing on the shoulder of the road. The vehicle then backed onto the shoulder and slammed the brakes just feet away from the protester.
Police later used witness video to confirm the incident and that Spell was the driver of the bus. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Tuesday and released shortly afterward.
Another church member, Nathan Thomas, is accused of swerving his pick-up truck off the road and nearly striking a protester as well shortly before the Sunday service. Police pulled Thomas over and questioned him about the incident as he was leaving the service.
Video recorded by the victim appeared to confirm that Thomas' truck came within about a foot of striking the protester, according to police. A warrant was also filed for his arrest Monday.
Last week, a local attorney representing Spell was hospitalized with the coronavirus. One of Life Tabernacle's church members also died from COVID-19 that same week.