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Tosh 4.1: “Busted” while reading the Bible on public sidewalk!

An Eyewitness Account by Dr. Pat McEwen

Jay Rogers, Cheryl Bischoff and I were arrested Saturday, May 18th, 2013 on the public sidewalk of Winter Park, Florida, outside residence of the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, Jenna Tosh. Cheryl was holding a small sign with a picture of a beautiful baby and the words “Celebrate Life!” I was reading silently from my Bible and praying. Jay was filming. Without warning all three of us were arrested. The charge was “picketing where prohibited.” Yes, in the United States of America this happened to gentle Christians on the public sidewalk.

We were not picketing. We were not targeting anyone, but that meant little to whoever had ordered the arrest. The arresting police were the SWAT Team (not geared up, but with the SWAT insignia on their uniforms and all the paraphernalia in the trunk). They treated us very kindly. They seemed to not like what they were ordered to do. We were transported in separate cars (Jay in one, Cheryl and I in the other).

Our arresting officer was interested in “who” we were and “why” we were there. When Cheryl said she was “just” a professional housewife, he replied, “Don’t ever say just! That is the highest calling for a woman. I could never do all my wife does as a mom. She amazes me.”

After we were booked at Winter Park police station, we were transported to the Orange County Correctional Facility (where we held a memorial for Caylee Anthony during our national event). There we had the opportunity to witness to Orange County correctional officers and inmates.

At one time, Jay had a big crowd of the intake officers around him asking questions about why we do these things. He looked like a teacher holding class. Cheryl and I were “working the crowd” of inmates in the holding area until we were bonded out.

Cheryl and Jay were released about three hours before me. I was arrested at 10:23 AM and was out by 11:20 PM. At first, I fretted a bit wondering what the “mix–up” was when I was left in the holding area while Cheryl and Jay were released (we had all already paid bond). I did not want to pay bond and still stay in jail all night. Then I had an epiphany. Realizing that God does not make mistakes, I started to look around for the reason I was left behind.

The holding area began to fill up with Saturday night drunks. Then they brought in eight new people from a transport from New Jersey. I saw a woman crying and looking so lost. She was one of the transport people. She had been for four days in shackles sitting up in a transport van with only restroom breaks. Her paperwork said “no bond” and she just lost it. I walked over saying it was lonely where I was sitting and did she mind if I sat near her. We talked in the holding cell and then we were both taken “upstairs” and given our bed rolls for the night.

I finally spoke to her about her bond problem. I told her I had an lawyer who paid my bond for my whole life. That caught her interest and after a bit she surrendered her life to the Lord. Then about half an hour later I was released. I called her mother-in-law (who is taking care of her two children) as I was out and told her when she would go to trial. I will keep contact with her.

When God says, “Go …” and we obey, then He will do wonders.

The three of us are not heroes. We were just doing what all Christians are expected to do, “Go therefore and make disciples …” (Matthew 28:19).

“But be doers of the word and not hearers only” and practice “pure and undefiled religion … to visit orphans and widows in their trouble” (James 1:22,27).

So come on Church, let’s take the battle right to the source of the evil! See you at the gates of hell!

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Comments

Your comments are welcome!

You are right that is what christians are supposed to do, unfurtunitly we have gotten so confortable siting down at church not realising there is much work to do outside.

Posted by Enmanuelle on 05/29/2013 08:04 AM #

I think there are restriction concerning picketing or protesting at a residence.

Posted by tonykeywest on 05/29/2013 09:09 AM #

i was in the middle of my daylight studies wen decided to go update my status on FB, wen i read ur beautiful life experience witness. God is Good!! thank you 4 ure enlightment!

Posted by Jale Cagi Malumu on 05/29/2013 11:54 AM #

I don’t understand why anyone was arrested for a peaceful walk reading the bible that may have saved a child's life.
Police, be men and tell the boss to take a hike! A life is a life no matter how small!

Posted by Kathy Gibson Withrow on 05/29/2013 07:12 PM #

If you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me. For I was this or that but one is I was in prison and you came and visited me.

Posted by Dave Funke on 05/30/2013 06:53 PM #

This a sham. They can not this, but they let the forners do what they like.

Posted by charles rogers on 06/01/2013 11:30 PM #

God never ceases to amaze me and how he puts people in the right places at the right times. Even though those women were arrested, it would seem that God needed seeds planted in Orange county that day.

Those women are truly Children of the Most High God.

Posted by Ralph Warner on 06/02/2013 01:06 AM #

Cops are lawless. See www.freetom.info for more evidence. The only way I see is to convert churches to the original church Jesus taught long before Paul appeared. Then with righteousness before God we can pray the nations into shape per Rev. 2:26-27.

Posted by Kirk W. Fraser on 06/02/2013 02:40 AM #

This is insane that you can be arrested for protesting an evil that is looked on by a majority of people as normal.

Posted by Thomas Cameron on 06/02/2013 07:48 AM #

This was a very inspiring story keep up the great work for our Lord and Savior.

Posted by Juanita m Stroud on 06/02/2013 09:46 AM #

Sounds like there was a reason for the arrest after all… God works in mysterious ways.

Posted by Ralyn on 06/02/2013 01:11 PM #

I was arrested in 1997 in Windemere, FL for not giving the police my social security number. That area around Disney World seems to be one of the most ungodly areas of the country.

Posted by Dale on 06/02/2013 06:05 PM #

WOW! what an effective way to reach people for Christ! I like her attitude about witnessing in your life to people in your life!

Posted by philip j. graham on 06/02/2013 08:09 PM #

If you were on a public sidewalk and you were not blocking that sidewalk, you were free to do whatever you wished that didn’t lead to a riot. The police HAD NO RIGHT to arrest you. People have GOT to learn their rights. You should always have a copy of your legal rights to demonstrate, picket, pray or anything else on public property and show it to any police who show up and tell you that you “can’t be there.” No such laws exist. YOU CAN BE THERE!

Posted by Valerie Protopapas on 06/02/2013 08:35 PM #

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