A former heroin addict who has become known as a street preacher was arrested for disorderly conduct after refusing to leave an Apple Store in Philadelphia.
“Philly Jesus,” real name – Michael Grant has been a common sight on the streets of the city for the past two years, according to Phillymag.com. With his flowing robes, long hair, a beard and a cross, Grant cut a distinctive figure.
Grant is a preacher also known for his strong anti-homosexuality views which he posts on his Twitter feed and is a September 11 “truther” – a conspiracy theorist who questions the mainstream account of the attack on New York’s World Trade Centre in 2001.
Witnesses said the dispute had centred on the large cross he brought into the store. Staff complained it was blocking the aisle and obstructing customers. Grant had gone into the store to read his emails.
Grant was asked to take the cross outside of the store and was asked to leave when he refused to do so.
Staff at the Apple Store asked Grant to leave three times, but he refused. “I know my rights – freedom of religion” bystanders heard him shout.
Police were called and Grant was handcuffed and arrested. It was reported that the Police were trying to fit “the evidence” – his large cross into a patrol car whilst he was being taken away. He has been charged with defiant trespass and disorderly conduct.