Mock arrests of Ohio pastors create confusion

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The staged arrests of pastors in front of their congregations in northeast Ohio got a surprising reaction for one sheriff.

Videos of the mock arrests posted online brought a wave of criticism for the Summit County Sheriff’s office from people who thought the deputies really were interrupting church services to make arrests.

Sheriff Steve Barry says his deputies took part in the mock arrests Sunday at a couple churches around Akron after the pastors approached his office and asked it to participate.

The churches staged the arrests as part of their “Defending the Faith” sermons. Videos showed deputies handcuffing pastors while they preached and placing them in patrol cars.

The sheriff says he wishes that those who put the videos online would have noted that the events had been staged.

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