48ºF

Screwdriver-wielding man interrupts Christmas concert at First Baptist Church of Pasadena

PASADENA, Texas – Chaos in the middle of a Christmas concert caught on camera.

The incident that started in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Pasadena, ended center stage of the sanctuary.

Members of the church barely seeing video of the incident for the first time, are in disbelief of what happened.

Becky Frias, a church member said, “I mean I don’t even know what to think, I mean it’s something that shouldn’t happen.”

Police say the man was spotted driving recklessly in the church parking lot when 2 off-duty Pasadena police officers working security were alerted.

But before they could get to him, he quickly took off.

Lt. Tom Warnke, with the Pasadena Police Department said, “when he pulled around to the front of the church, he actually jumped out of the vehicle while it was slowly moving. During that time the officer chased him into the church.”

Armed with a nearly 6 inch screwdriver, police say the man made his way to the orchestra pit before tripping into the instrument.

That’s when police say a church-goer tried to help police to stop the man.

Lt. Warnke explained, “A citizen actually tried to assist by using a music stand to actually strike the suspect to try to assist.”

After a brief struggle, police were able to tackle the guy and take him into custody.

Crystal Martinez had a clear view how it all went down. She told KPRC 2 told that she was there with her children to see the opening night of the annual event at First Baptist Church in Pasadena.

Martinez said everyone was chit-chatting with each other as the orchestra was warming up – when the man came running down the main aisle, crashed into the orchestra pit, acting erratic. She described it as a “bull in a China shop” situation.

The man jumped onto the stage, police quickly jumped up there with him and took him into custody. She says she didn’t realize it at the time that he was armed with a screwdriver.

Officers used pepper spray on the man. Eventually, the pepper spray began to affect the people attending the concert. The church turned off the air conditioning to minimize spreading around the spray. Eventually, everything got back to normal and the show went on as planned.

The suspect since been taken to the hospital for treatment before he’ll be formally charged and booked for aggravated assault against a public servant.

Lt. Warnke said, “I know they were very concerned, especially when he ran into the sanctuary. They didn’t know what his motive was or what he was wanting to so.”

“Thankfully God intervened, because this guy could hurt some people,” said Becky.