SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Montgomery County police have arrested a man for assaulting a pastor at a Silver Spring church, but the man has denied also being involved in the theft of thousands of pennies from the church on the same day.
Police arrested Noe Guillen-Velasquez, 22, and charged him with second-degree burglary and second-degree assault in the Jan. 9 incident at New Creation Baptist Church. On that same day, someone stole 40,000 pennies being collected by children for the needy.
Police said a black knit hat was left by the person who attacked the pastor at the church and that DNA evidence matched Guillen-Velasquez. Pennies were also found on the floor of his home, but he denied swiping the church’s collection.
The church has resumed collecting pennies and now has about 250,000.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)