This pastor believes in a higher firepower.
A quick-thinking clergyman at a Florida church held a burglary suspect at gunpoint early Thursday until cops arrived minutes later, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
“I said, Dude, what are you doing?’” Pastor Brant Adams of Seminole Heights Baptist Church told the newspaper. “He wasn’t looking for a fight, which I thank the Lord for.”
Instead, Adams said the suspect — later identified by cops as 49-year-old Miguel Otero-Rivera — complied with his demands to get on the ground as the man of God stayed several feet away.
Otero-Rivera, who allegedly tried to swipe a laptop from the church, smashed a window before getting inside the building and knocked down several doors. Adams said he also left blood throughout the church after cutting his back on a window, causing thousands of dollars in damages.
The pastor spotted Otero-Rivera as he was exiting a food pantry operated inside the church — and said he would’ve helped the man had he simply spoken up.
“The simple message is: If you need help, ask for it,” Adams told WTVT. “You don’t need to steal. If he would’ve just come to the back door and knocked … We would’ve given him some food.”
Otero-Rivera was jailed Thursday on charges including burglary of an unoccupied structure and grand theft, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
In a statement on its Facebook page, church officials downplayed a local news report of the “pistol-packing pastor,” saying the alliterate moniker was neither funny nor cute.