It was another wild episode for Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead at his Leaders of Tomorrow International Churches on Sunday when he was forced to remove a woman who disrupted his sermon and allegedly threatened his family two months after being robbed at gunpoint at his pulpit of least $400,000 worth of jewelry.
The incident, which occurred at around 11:30 a.m., resulted in the arrest of 47-year-old Tarsha Howard, the NYPD told The New York Post. Whitehead was brief detained as police sorted out what happened during the tense confrontation between the flashy bishop, Howard and another woman who disrupted the church service.
At one point during the encounter captured on video, Whitehead began praying for the women in tongues before yanking Howard by her neck and forcing her out of the church.
Whitehead and Howard were initially taken into custody and brought to the 69th Precinct after the clash. But in the end, police released the pastor without any charge.
Howard, who police say was "restrained" by Whitehead, was charged with trespassing and disrupting a religious service. The second woman, who was involved with the disruption, fled, Whitehead said.
Whitehead has taken to social media to accuse online personalities Larry Reid, whose "Larry Reid Live" show has a following of more than 200,000 people on Facebook alone, and De'Mario Jives of the "King Jives Show" of sending the women to disrupt his church.
Earlier this month, Whitehead filed $20 million defamation lawsuits against Reid and Jives, claiming he lost church members and income after they allegedly painted him as a scammer and drug dealer on their platforms.
Whitehead claimed the disruption at his church on Sunday was retaliation for the lawsuits.
"I have lawsuits out, and when retaliation, that's retaliation, that's what it is, so these gentlemen, and we have proof, these gentlemen sent these two women in my church to disrupt my church. And they came in videoing, and it was a whole setup," Whitehead said in a video posted to his social media.
"I allowed the lady to talk, speak her piece, curse me out and do whatever she wanted to do, but then she started to throw threats at my wife and started to charge at my wife. My wife had my baby in her hand. We're not going to have another rendition of my wife being in harm's way or my daughter being in harm's way," the Brooklyn preacher said, recalling the gunpoint robbery in July.
"That's when I took action, and I grabbed the lady and escorted her out."
Reid denied any involvement with the women who disrupted Whitehead's church service when contacted by The Christian Post on Monday. He noted that he has still not yet been served with any lawsuit by Whitehead.
"I have YET to be served, so I really don't know if the lawsuit is real or not," he said Monday. "I tend not to believe stuff is real until it is in hand."
Whitehead further lamented his treatment by the NYPD for simply trying to protect his church and admitted that he did not willingly go to the precinct with officers on Sunday.
"They lock me up in front of my children, in front of my wife, in front of my church. They publicly embarrassed me, and then they drop all the charges after two hours and apologize to me," Whitehead told The New York Daily News.
He told the New York Post that he felt the way he was treated was because of his race.
"They would have never [done] it to a rabbi. They would have never [done] it to a priest," Whitehead said. "But because of the color of my skin, they arrested me. Not only did they arrest me, but when they put me into a police car, they injured my wrist."