"NORTH HAMPTON, Ohio — A self-described militant atheist with a criminal past faces multiple charges after an attack on a pastor who, after his sermon, had asked the man's girlfriend if she felt safe.
James Maxie, 28, of Springfield, Ohio, is charged with second-degree felonious assault and misdemeanor resisting arrest after an incident Sunday at The Bridge Community Church in North Hampton.
Police Chief Jarrod Campbell said in his 11 years with the department, he's rarely dealt with "an incident this brutal."
The Rev. Norman Hayes, 57, said he feared for his life and begged for the attack to stop. Hayes suffered a broken nose, bruises and three long cuts that required stitches across his face.
"I questioned his girlfriend in his presence if she felt safe," Hayes said. "He was very, very upset that I'd even suggest that he would hurt her. Then he turned around and hurt me very badly."
Hayes said Maxie was argumentative and confrontational during the service.
"It looked like he was looking for an argument," Hayes said."
It is always interesting to me how some Atheists are so confrontational... As if others having faith in God is a personal attack on their lack of belief in a higher power.
To think he was attending the church and disrupting it during the service, and then for him to attack the pastor afterwords... IN the church... all because he asked the girlfriend "if she felt safe"...