Michael Coghill: Oklahoma pastor beaten by man for ‘inappropriately touching’ his son
A father of 9-year-old left the Oklahoma pastor with a fractured skull, reportedly after the pastor touched his son multiple times and followed him
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA: A local pastor was arrested by police on September 22, for "inappropriately touching" a nine-year-old boy. But before he could be taken into custody, the boy's father made his feelings very clear by beating up the pastor, identified as Michael Coghill. As a result, Coghill was left with a black eye and skull fracture, along with a criminal record. The beating up occurred after the boy told his parents Coghill had previously touched him and followed him around.
The arrest of Coghill comes months after disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick became the highest-ranking clergyman in the US to be charged. In July, he was charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery in Massachusetts. Days prior to that, an 'apostle' at a Southern California church was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a minor girl. In June, we also reported on the arrest of Florida youth pastor Andrew Weaver, who tried to have sex with a teenage girl.
Over the past decade, numerous church leaders have been arrested and charged for sex crimes, often involving minors. An exact number was hard to obtain, but it is expected to be in the hundreds in the USA alone. Now, Coghill has added to those numbers,after a rather violent incident leading to his arrest. It is unclear if the father was charged or arrested for assaulting Coghill, but the pastor has been fired by the church and is now facing serious charges and the threat of jail time.
Coghill tackled by infuriated father
The incident and subsequent arrest took place in a neighborhood near Southwest 36th Street and County Line Road. Coghill is believed to live in another neighborhood nearby and work at a church in Mustang. He was reportedly spotted jogging around the neighborhood several times before his arrest. "I just thought he was a runner in the neighborhood," one witness Lisa Ward told News9. The truth though appears to be more sinister.
Reportedly, Coghill ran by the bus stop where the nine-year-old waited "several times" and "touched him in a way that made him feel uncomfortable" on September 20. "He knew the time he would be there every day," Ward said. The child told his parents about the incident, which led his father to see for himself. On September 22, the father parked his car near the stop and began filming while waiting for Coghill to show up.
"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,' Seargent Dillon Quirk said. After recording the incident, the father confronted Coghill and "tackled him to the ground." When the cops arrived, they found Coghill bloody and bruised. "He was in the cop car all bloody," Ward recounted. The event left everyone around stunned. "There’s hardly any words that are camera appropriate," Ward added.
Coghill fired from Church
After his arrest, Coghill was taken to the Oklahoma County Detention Center and has been charged on one count of lewd acts to a child. The stunning development left the community concerned. Police are now calling for eyewitnesses to come forward as well as anyone else who was a victim of Coghill. The Lakehoma Church of Christ, where Coghill worked has also moved quickly to distance itself from the pastor.
Shortly after the arrest, the church removed any mention of him from their website. It also issued a statement on September 23 via Facebook. "We were heartbroken to learn of the incident that occurred yesterday morning involving Mike Coghill, our discipleship minister... Mike has a clean background check, and we have received no reports or claims against him during his tenure at Lakehoma," the church said.
It added, "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." The announcement was met with support, with the post garnering 214 comments at the time of reporting. "Thank you for this statement, your difficult decision at hand, and swift action. It is duly noted, and an important step in the churches of Christ’s journey toward healing," one person commented. Another said, "This statement is a good step."