Deacon at Newport News church allegedly pulled knife

| January 30, 2010

NEWPORT NEWS — It started with a parking space.

One deacon entered the parking lot the wrong way, and another one corrected him.

During church that Sunday, Hurley Jones Jr. and Isaiah Smith Jr. sat beside each other at Wesley Grove United Church of Christ. No harm seemed to be done after Smith mentioned Jones' mistake on Dec. 6.

The following week, the two men were in a deacon board meeting. Jones began to read scripture about lying and told Smith he was talking about him, according to police.

As the conversation continued, Jones charged at Smith with a knife but was held back by another person in the meeting, police said.

Jones, 61, is charged with assault and carrying a concealed weapon, both misdemeanors. He declined to comment about the incident, although Smith shared his account.

"I had to defend myself," 71-year-old Smith said. "I backed away and pulled my jacket off so I would have room to maneuver if it had to go to blows."

Smith said he corrected Jones because he thought it was the right thing to do.

"I said, 'You are on staff, and staff should always try to do the right thing,' " Smith said. "That's all I said and thought nothing else of it."

Smith said he doesn't feel bad about going to police instead of solving the conflict with Jones.

"My life was threatened," Smith said. "I would have done it even if it was my mother. As much as I love her, she would have to be dealt with.",0,1915409.story

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Category: Church Security

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