A father caught a church minister inappropriately touching his 9-year-old son at a school bus top Wednesday, after which the father gave the minister a serious beating, Oklahoma City police told KWTV-DT.
Michael Coghill, 33, was arrested Wednesday on a child crime complaint, the station said, adding that Lakehoma Church of Christ in Mustang had listed him on its website as a minister. But as of Friday afternoon the site doesn’t list Coghill as a staff member.
What are the details?
The victim told his parents Coghill jogged by his bus stop several times and touched him in ways that made him feel uncomfortable, KWTV said.
Then on Wednesday the boy’s father waited in his car to see if Coghill would return, the station said.
“While he was watching the school bus stop, our suspect ran by him, ran past the bus stop where the children were waiting, turned around, came back, and stopped where he touched the child,” Sgt. Dillon Quirk with the Oklahoma City Police Department told KWTV.
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Police were told Coghill placed his hand on the child’s side then moved his hand to the child’s backside, KOKH-TV reported, adding that video of the act was recorded.
With that, the boy’s father ran after Coghill and tackled him — and the suspect had visible facial injuries by the time police arrives, the station said.
According to KOKH-TV, Coghill was left with a black and blue face, a cracked orbital socket, and a skull fracture.
“He was in the cop car all bloody,” a neighbor told KWTV.
Fox News said that due to the Open Records Act police could not confirm that it was the boy’s father who confronted the suspect.
Coghill was being held in the Oklahoma County Detention Center on one complaint of lewd acts to a child, KWTV reported. Police are asking if individuals have additional information that could help the investigation to let them know — and if there are more victims, they should come forward, the station said.
What did the church have to say?
Lakehoma Church of Christ issued a statement on its Facebook page saying that Coghill — who was the church’s discipleship minister — was relieved of his duties. In addition, the church said it was “heartbroken” and “shocked” by the news since Coghill had a “clean background check, and we have received no reports or claims against him during his tenure at Lakehoma.”
Here’s the church’s full statement:
Dear Lakehoma Family,
We were heartbroken to learn of the incident that occurred yesterday morning involving Mike Coghill, our discipleship minister. And we were shocked to learn this news through social media today. Mike has a clean background check, and we have received no reports or claims against him during his tenure at Lakehoma. We will be fully cooperating with law enforcement as needed.
Our hearts go out to the family and the child involved in the incident. We would encourage everyone to pray for this family during a very difficult time in their lives.
Our church leadership has no tolerance for any type of abuse. Safety is our highest priority for our community, congregation and especially our children. These past years we have made significant efforts to secure our children’s area providing the highest safety standards possible.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with the Coghill family. We love them and desire to show Christ’s love to them.
The elders met tonight and determined it was in the best interest of all parties for Mike to be relieved from all duties. He will no longer be on staff at Lakehoma.
Please share with the elders any additional information or concerns you might have. Our doors are always open.
We love you very much and continue to be saddened and hurt by the events of the day. Please be praying for Lakehoma.
We love you,