A Lufkin man who calls himself a preacher was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a criminal trespass charge after refusing to leave the rent property he used as his church.
James Denmond’s Tuesday arrest marked the third time Pct. 1 Constable Tom Selman attempted to make the 39-year-old peacefully leave the building on Southwood Drive. Upon Selman’s arrival, Denmond locked himself inside and refused to come out.
“He had the locks changed, so it took a locksmith to open the door,” Selman said. “Myself and three LPD officers then escorted him out.”
After giving him 20 minutes to leave, Denmond continued to tell the constable he wasn’t leaving. He was then arrested on a criminal trespass charge.
The eviction stemmed from orders owner Pinal Patel had drawn up weeks ago, according to county records. Denmond attempted to overturn the order twice in court but failed, Selman said.
Last week, county Court-at-Law Judge Derek Flournoy gave the final order for Denmond to vacate the premises, shared with Super S Grocery. The store is also owned by Patel.
Occasionally, passersby of Denmond’s church could see the man preaching to empty chairs set up in the parking lot.
Denmond was being held in the Angelina County Jail on a $2,500 bond as of Wednesday afternoon.
Jessica Cooley’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.