Prior to the incident, Whitehead appeared to encourage someone to “take pictures” or film the sermon. “You want to come preach? Come on up here,” he said in the clip. “I’m gonna make you famous.” He can then be seen grabbing the woman in an aggressive manner. Police showed up after and booked Whitehead.
The bishop told the New York Daily News that he was arrested and “publicly embarrassed” only for all the charges to be dropped two hours later. “She came in the middle aisle and just [started] cussing me out, calling me all types of names, calling me all types of things,” he said, noting that the woman apparently approached him in a similar manner to the man who robbed him at gunpoint earlier this year. “She came back storming toward my wife and my 10-month-old baby.”
He said that he grabbed her because she “went toward my wife,” and promptly kicked her out of the church. He also alleged that his ministers recognized the women and her friend, and described them as “wannabe up-and-coming bloggers” who “came to my church to disrupt my service.”
“They made a grave mistake in arresting the bishop, they would’ve never did it to a rabbi, they would’ve never did it to a priest,” Whitehead said in a stream on Instagram Live, as seen below. “But because of the color of my skin, they arrested me. Not only did they arrest me, but when they put me in the police car they injured my wrist.”
Whitehead explained that when police “did some research” on him, he was released from his cell and the charges were dropped. Meanwhile, the woman, who was identified as Tarsha Howard, has been charged with trespassing and disrupting a religious service, per NYDN.
This is far from the first time Whitehead has generated headlines. The bishop was robbed at gunpoint during his own church service earlier this year, and more recently challenged comedian D.L. Hughley to a million-dollar boxing match. “I don’t wanna hear you don’t box because your mouth is big let’s get in the ring,” he said. “I’m not gonna hurt you. I’m gonna knock you out in the name of Jesus I promise you.”
Check out the video of the incident and what Whitehead had to say about it above.