'Erratic behavior' at North Carolina church leads to arrest

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Christopher Bennett

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. — A Craven County man has been arrested after officials say they were called to an Ernul church regarding his behavior.

The Craven County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called to Macedonia Free Will Baptist Church on Sunday in reference to a man “acting erratically and attempting to force his way into the church.”

Deputies say that upon their arrival, they found the man fighting with church members attempting to restrain him.

The man appeared to be under the influence of drugs, according to deputies, and he continued to be combative and was eventually taken into custody by the use of a taser.

Officials say he was treated at the scene for minor injuries he received while trying to enter the church and taken to the Craven County Confinement Facility.

The man was identified as Christopher Bennett, of New Bern, and officials say he assaulted a family member at her residence earlier in the day. According to Major David McFadyen, the family member told deputies Bennett had been using crystal methamphetamine.

“Chances are things would’ve gotten worse for him throughout the day had he not been restrained, and we were able to take him into custody,” he said.

Bennett is charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, assault on a female, interfering with emergency communications, false imprisonment, felonious breaking and entering a motor vehicle and felonious larceny of a motor vehicle.

Church members say Bennett was inside the church before being asked to leave — that is when they say things escalated. McFayden says this incident is a reminder to always be ready.

“Certainly, people should not live in fear that this will happen in their church, but by that same token it’s certainly wise for every church to take into consideration,” he said.

Officials say Bennett is being held in the Craven County Confinement Facility.

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