Pastor arrested again picketing demon mascot

bpurser@macon.comAugust 13, 2010 

WARNER ROBINS — A pastor protesting the Warner Robins High School Demons mascot was arrested picketing outside the school Thursday for the second time this week.

Donald Crosby, pastor of God’s Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Macon, was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, for “excessive noise” for using a bullhorn to shout across the street and disrupt students, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for Warner Robins police. Crosby, 36, was released on a $150 bond, Pugh said.

Crosby was arrested Monday outside the school and charged with disorderly conduct and picketing without a permit, both misdemeanors, after he refused to comply with officers’ requests to leave, Pugh said. He was released on a $650 bond.

Thursday, Crosby had a permit to picket. However, the city’s separate noise ordinance prohibits the use of the bullhorn while on a public street, sidewalk, city park or other public place, City Attorney Jim Elliott said.

“You can go out there, but you can’t be heard,” said Crosby, who opposes the mascot because, he says, demons represent evil. “This is absolute foolishness. My constitutional rights are being stripped from me just because I am the unpopular vote.”

Crosby was among at least 30 people picketing, Pugh said. She said police did not have a problem with the number of people picketing and that the other picketers continued after Crosby’s arrest.

The permit allows the group to picket along the sidewalk on the east side of South Davis Drive from the flag pole in front of McConnell-Talbert Stadium to the first gate of the overhead walkway from 7 to 10 a.m., Pugh said. The permit is good through Monday.

Crosby said a city police officer told him that he wasn’t picketing in the right place. Crosby said he offered to move but that the officer told him, “too late,” and arrested him.

According to the Warner Robins police report, officer Steve Edward Warmack arrived at the high school shortly after 7 a.m. to find about 30 to 40 people picketing the mascot at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South Davis Drive, which the report noted was outside of the area designated by the permit. The picketers were chanting and waving signs, the report said.

Crosby was using an “amplified bullhorn to shout across the street” at the principal and about 50 students who were standing outside of the school, the report said.

Crosby was told by the officer he was in violation of the picketing permit and that “he could not shout and antagonize the principal,” according to the report. Crosby was arrested and taken to police headquarters on Young Avenue, the report said.

Crosby said he was not trying to antagonize the principal but wanted him to “please stop ignoring us.”

Principal Steve Monday said that Crosby basically shouted at him, “As the principal of Warner Robins High School, you need to repent, Mr. Monday.”

Monday said he didn’t pay a lot of attention to what Crosby was saying. The principal said he is focused on the students and school activities.

“We’re not changing the mascot, we’re not even considering changing the mascot and we’re expecting a great year at Warner Robins High School,” said Monday, who noted he is a 1984 graduate of Warner Robins High School.

Crosby said he plans to keep picketing.

“A (police) record a day to keep the demons away,” Crosby said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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