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Evangelical pastor arrested after ‘shoving anti-gay message down woman’s shirt’

Nick Duffy August 4, 2019
Frederic Sterry Smith is facing a misdemeanour battery charge over the incident at a St. Augustine restaurant

Frederic Sterry Smith is facing a misdemeanour battery charge over the incident at a St. Augustine restaurant

An evangelical pastor in Florida has been arrested after writing an anti-gay message on a restaurant receipt and shoving it down the manager’s shirt.

Frederic Sterry Smith, 62, has been charged with misdemeanour battery over the incident at Milagro On 12 Latin Kitchen in St. Augustine, Florida on July 27.

According to the police report, Smith had been eating at the restaurant when he appeared to take exception to being served by a teenage gay waiter.

Evangelical pastor left anti-gay message and no tip

At the end of the meal, Smith allegedly indicated on the receipt that he was leaving a $0 tip, writing the message: “If he wasn’t gay.”

According to police, the restaurant’s female manager confronted Smith over the message as he moved to leave, asking him if he had written it.

Smith told her that he had, before allegedly seizing the receipt from the manager, tearing it in half, and shoving it down the inside of her shirt.

Pastor Frederic Sterry Smith is facing a misdemeanour battery charge over the incident at a St. Augustine restaurant
Frederic Sterry Smith is facing a misdemeanour battery charge over the incident at a St. Augustine restaurant

The police report alleges that he touched the woman’s breast with his hand as shoved the message down.

The man was “verbally abusive and angry” when he was later confronted by police, according to Naples News, declaring: “I can say whatever I want, to whoever I want!”

‘Act of hate’ condemned as ‘hands-on’ preacher released on bail

Smith, who is believed to work at an “evangelical hands-on ministry devoted to helping hurricane victims in North America and the Caribbean,” has been released on a $500 bond.

Employees at the restaurant told First Coast News they are having a hard time coming to terms with what happened, describing it as an “act of hate.”

More: Anti-gay, evangelical, homophobic, pastor

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