Devil Pastor Arrested Before Burning 2,998 Holy Qur’ans.

Terry Jones Arrested in Mulberry Before Burning Qurans


By Suzie Schottelkotte & Ryan E. Little
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 11:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 11:51 p.m.
MULBERRY | Polk County sheriff’s deputies arrested Terry Jones on Wednesday as he was driving to a park to burn nearly 3,000 Qurans.

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Pastor Terry Jones Arrest
Jones, 61, and Wayne Sapp Jr., 44, an associate pastor at Jones’ church, Dove World Outreach Center in Manatee County, were arrested on several charges, including possessing fuel in an improper container, which is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, according to Sheriff’s Office reports.

Jones had been planning since July to burn the Muslim holy books in Polk County, though he only recently planned to relocate the event to Loyce E. Harpe Park near Mulberry. He said the burning was to be a memorial to Americans who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with one book for each of the 2,998 victims.

But late Tuesday, the county denied his request to use the park, in part saying his application came too late and in part because no burning is allowed in the park. Jones was subsequently told by law enforcement that he would be arrested if he entered the park with any kind of incendiary equipment.

Once they got to Mulberry on Wednesday afternoon, Jones and a handful of supporters stopped at a McDonald’s restaurant parking lot to ready their mobile barbecue grill. He and Sapp doused the Qurans with kerosene, then the restaurant’s manager told them they would have to leave.

They did, with plans to park along the side of West Carter Road near the park’s entrance and burn the Qurans there.

Jones said he believed he would be arrested if he went inside the park.”They (law enforcement) have told me that several times,” he said while at McDonald’s. “They told me that last night and again today. I don’t think I need a burn permit to do it on the public right-of-way.”

He never got that far.

As Sapp and Jones headed north on Church Avenue, which is State Road 37, about 5 p.m. deputies swooped in behind their truck and turned on their emergency lights. Sapp, who was driving, pulled the truck into the parking lot of the Mulberry Pharmacy, 1009 N. Church Ave., and seconds later, more than a dozen marked and unmarked patrol cars crowded into the lot behind it.

Jones and Sapp were both charged with unlawful conveyance of fuel. They were still being processed late Wednesday, and no bail had been set.

Sapp was also charged with having no valid registration for the smoker trailer he was towing, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies seized Sapp’s White 1998 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck and the smoker/trailer, and he faces traffic citations for not having proper lighting on the trailer.

“The unlawful conveyance of fuel charge stems from Jones and Sapp dousing and emptying kerosene into a smoker/trailer onto a stack of Qurans and then dangerously transporting the trailer onto a state road,” according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Jones also was charged with openly carrying a firearm, which deputies saw as they had him under surveillance Wednesday at a Mulberry restaurant before his arrest. After arresting Jones, deputies seized his Smith and Wesson .40-caliber, semi-automatic pistol, which was in a holster clipped to his belt on his left hip, Sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilder said.

In a press conference Wednesday night, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Jones knew the consequences for what he was doing………images (22)

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