Knife-wielding man says he interrupted church service to ‘expose’ the pastor

Jonathan Stetor (Metropolitan Police Department)

A knife-wielding man who interrupted a Sunday morning church service pointed the weapon at the lead pastor, who he had told days earlier that he was going to “expose the church,” according to a Las Vegas police arrest report.

On Tuesday, Jonathan Stetor, 37, who is facing a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon, remained in the Clark County Detention Center without bail, Las Vegas Justice Court records show.

Police responded about 11:40 a.m. to Liberty Baptist Church in the 6500 block of West Lake Mead Boulevard and took Stetor into custody outside without further incident.

Stetor had walked in mid-service stood into the middle of the church and “gestured” at the lead pastor to come to him while waving a knife, police said.

The pastor, who said he was trying to “deflect” the attention away from his parishioners, approached Stetor.

When the pastor got near, Stetor pointed the knife at him, screaming “look I have a knife” and “don’t come near me,” the suspect later recalled to police.

Stetor eventually walked out, police said.

The pastor told police that he had talked to Stetor earlier in the week, who had expressed his dissatisfaction toward the church which was trying to “indoctrinate him,” according to the arrest report.

In an interview with detectives after his arrest, Stetor rambled about conspiracies, saying he had gone to the church to “expose” the pastor, and that he was afraid the church leader would kill him, police said.

Stetor said that he had only pulled out the knife in self-defense, and that no one in the church had been afraid of him, police said.

But several witnesses, including the pastor, told police that they had feared for their safety, according to the report.

Stetor is next due in court Wednesday morning. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

As of Tuesday, church officials had not responded to a request for comment.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.