VIDEO: Nutty Pastor Claims 'Sanctuary,' Interferes With Felony Arrest

The pastor at Old Stone Church claimed non-existent sanctuary laws prohibited arrests in her church.

East Haven, CT - A pastor at Old Stone Church blocked a police car and tried to force the release of a felony domestic violence suspect, citing non-existent laws that protect people from being arrested in a church.

The incident started on Tuesday when East Haven Fire Department requested that police respond to a home where they were treating a domestic violence victim with serious injuries, according to WTIC.

Officers arrived and determined that the 59-year-old female victim had been severely beaten by her son, Ryan Champlin, 34.

The victim told officers that she got into an argument with Champlin because he lived there for free. Champlin started to attack her, and the victim grabbed the phone to call 911.

Champlin pushed her to the ground, and she got up and fled into the bedroom and locked the door. Her son then kicked the door in and used the phone to beat the victim's head until the phone broke, seriously injuring her.

The suspect then fled the residence.

As officers were hunting Champlin to arrest him for felony domestic violence assault, they were tipped off that he had gotten a ride to Old Stone Church.

Officers arrived at the church and spoke with employees who invited them to come inside to search for the suspect.

The officers searched the church and the attached child day-care facility before locating Champlin hiding in an upstairs office, according to New Haven Register.

The officers arrested Champlin without incident and placed him into the back of their patrol car.

Church Pastor Goodstal-Spinks then arrived, blocked the patrol car in with her Mini Cooper, and demanded that Champlin be released.

"You do not have the authority to come into a church and arrest anybody," Goodstal-Spinks told the sergeant on scene.

The sergeant tried to explain the situation to her, but she wouldn't listen.

After the pastor couldn't be reasoned with, a lieutenant arrived to speak to her.

"This is a church," Goodstal-Spinks told the lieutenant on scene. "We're protected by federal law, and state law. It is a place of sanctuary and refuge."

The practice of sanctuary from legal actions while within church walls was initially adopted by the early Christian church, but abolished entirely in England by James I in 1623, before the founding of the United States, according to Wikipedia. The United States has never allowed criminals to escape justice by hiding in a church.

"Your officer came inside and and arrested a young man that was in there, and they have no authority in that building to do any such thing. Period," Goodstal-Spinks went on in a condescending tone of voice.

The lieutenant explained that they had arrested a felony domestic violence suspect, and that the officers had a duty to protect the victim from further harm; that didn't stop the pastor's smug attitude.

"And you realize that you see on the news all the time, people taking sanctuary, refuge in a church, and even the federal law can't come in and get them, because this place is a protected place," she continued.

It's not immediately clear if she was referring to CNN when she referenced the "news all the time."

The officers continued to de-escalate the situation instead of arresting the pastor for obstructing a police officer, until they eventually left.

According to New Haven Register, Lt. Joseph M. Murgo released a statement which said, “While the East Haven Police Department respects the sanctity of a church, we also owe it to victims of domestic violence to apprehend suspects who commit violent felony assaults. Officers were also cognizant of the fact that children attending day care might have been exposed to a fleeing felony suspect within the interior of the church. We feel that the decision to enter the church was the correct one in this particular situation.”

You can see more video from the incident below. Blue Lives Matter is now on LinkedIn. If you have a LinkedIn account, be sure to follow us there.

Comments (44)
No. 1-44
ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

A Mini-Cooper weighs what - about 2000-3000 lbs? And the average police vehicle about 4000+ lbs? With the push bumper grille guard, they could have just pushed her car out of the way - instead, they choose to talk with her and finally be able to leave with their perp still in the backseat.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

In a Quasimodo voice, "Santuary! Santuary!"

Gator61
Gator61

I have heard of this a few years ago when Catholic churches claimed they could shield Illegal aliens in a church and Immigration Enforcement could not arrest them. I never heard of any Federal Law giving such status. In Florida during my time in Law Enforcement I know I never saw it in Florida Statutes. I did work in the Jail, but I never saw any such situation. I saw people arrested for everything imaginable in 24 years. It seems similar to the Sovereign Citizens you run into.

lds719
lds719

She needs to get laid.

Sickandtired
Sickandtired

A church is private property, so they either need permission, a warrant, or probable cause to enter. Sounds to me like they had 2 of th 3, so they did nothing wrong. She is lucky she didn't end up in jail or tazed...

JBo
JBo

Sounds like this pastor was more concerned with the safety of a violent felony suspect over domestic abuse victims, daycare children and even the church's employees.

RunCop
RunCop

There is nothing angrier than a lesbian liberal puke pastor !

LomzLaw
LomzLaw

what a smug C**t

DavidPeoria
DavidPeoria

Not true, if they are in the process of apprehending a fleeing felon. They can enter because they had probable cause and he was actively fleeing.

redtop11
redtop11

She has no understanding of the Bible as well. While the Bible allows women to serve in a number of areas, pastoring a church in not one of them.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Lady you need to stop watching the MSM and it's fake news!! And do some research or just ask a lawyer. According to my neighbor's son, who happens to be a lawyer, there has never been any state or federal law stating a criminal can hide out from the law inside a church. It amazes me how many stupid ass people there are!!

Tinman983
Tinman983

This woman is as stupid as she sounds. There is no sanctuary law protecting a criminal in a church. If the church is open to a fleeing felon, it's open to the police. If a church is open to the public, it is open to the police. In fact, there could be a case that this smug, ignorant, know it all moron could be charged with attempting to harbor a fugitive.

spclopr8tr
spclopr8tr

But, but, but she saw it on TV! It must be true.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Oh, you mean she saw the colorized version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and thought it was real? 😉

Mikem71
Mikem71

Officers arrived at the church and spoke with employees who invited them to come inside to search for the suspect.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@redtop11 true. The Bible notes that women can sermon only to a group of other women. If there are 1000 women and 1 man in the crowd, she should move aside and let a man sermon.

BruthaV
BruthaV

Pastor Goodstal-Spinks claims to be intelligent, but she is clearly a moron. Not even an attorney can prevent a criminal from being arrested by the police. There is no "home base"/sanctuary that protects a criminal.

chattycathy
chattycathy

IDIOT! Having this video released is punishment for her! She thinks she's God but she is COMPLETELY rude and STOOPID! 'I get that', 'I get that' - grrrr. How pitiful is her knowledge of our law!

MsJan1955
MsJan1955

I fully agree that she is bat shit crazy BUT does anyone remember the illegal alien woman who stayed for months maybe years in a church to avoid deportation? Seems like it was California or Florida.

mosesjohn777
mosesjohn777

Old Stone Church is a United Church of Christ congregation. I'm a retired UCC pastor who is still serving as a Chaplain in two Police Departments. Forty years ago, the UCC was a more fair & balanced denomination. Over the past 15 years, it has turned completely left-wing. It isn't the denomination I joined in the mid-1980's. I'm not surprised at this pastor's actions. I'm certain she will never be a Law Enforcement Chaplain! I serve my LEOs with dignity, respect and great love.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@mosesjohn777 shouldn't you enjoy a left wing church though? Jesus was a big hippie, and if he were alive right now, he would most likely be a social justice warrior.

I'm not being facetious here. I'd honestly like to know your stance.

Pkiel
Pkiel

I would have paid good money to see her get tazed about halfway through her bullshit argument! Sanctuary! Sanctuary! I wonder if the jerk hiding in the church had a hunch-back?!?!?

mosesjohn777
mosesjohn777

Please read John 18:36. My UCC brethren choose to ignore that passage. Jesus can't a hippie, nor would he have been a SJW... That's my stance. Thank you!

YoP
YoP

She is a nut!

YoP
YoP

Arrest her for obstructing... too bad you can't arrest her for being and idiot.

YoP
YoP

Wait... the Nut has back up. The two nuts backing her up are Crazy too. They are a danger to themselves.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@mosesjohn777 I don't understand what this passage has to do with Jesus not being liberal, though.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@mosesjohn777 Jesus was anti capitalism, anti death penalty, and anti public prayer. He was also anti-slut shaming (Mary Magdalene).

Nowadays, you would probably call him a bleeding-heart liberal.

nuccten
nuccten

The Lieutenant showed a great deal of patience. Good job officers.

Sickandtired
Sickandtired

Not only that but the Bible condones slavery, and if you believe the story of Adam and Eve, incest.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Sickandtired I grew up in the church and have read the bible, cover to cover. That's probably what led me to denounce religion, watching the hypocrisy before my very eyes.

All you evangelicals out there that voted for Trump are a prime example of why Christianity is losing ground. If you wanted to use your religion to guide your vote, at least pick someone who follows the rules your God has set in place.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

That was a non-sequitur to the article, but it stands on its own.

cm530265
cm530265

It has not been legal since 1623 to offer sanctuary for criminals or suspected criminals. Police don't arrest in "sensitive places" as a public relations issue, however the Catholic church in 1960s attempted to offer "legal" sanctuary for GIs that refused to go to Vietnam but that was stopped by DOJ.

FrogHill
FrogHill

Another commiecrat that thinks they know wtf they are talking about, but in reality they are dumber than a bag of dicks

FrogHill
FrogHill

If MAGA is going to happen the police need to start shining the boots on all of these commie idiots

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@ProCop no, they didn't throw me out. I went until i was 16 because my parents made me, but i was mentally done with church when I was 12.

Besides, throwing someone out of a church even though they did nothing illegal doesn't seem real Christian-like. What kind of church do you go to where that happens?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@cclaxton not at all off-topic for the question I was asking someone else. Why don't you take a crack at it?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@cclaxton shouldn't you enjoy a left wing church though? Jesus was a big hippie, and if he were alive right now, he would most likely be a social justice warrior.

I'm not being facetious here. I'd honestly like to know your stance.