Police Release 911 Call That Led To Arrest of Megachurch Leader
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — With a calm voice and collected manner about her, a 15-year-old girl called Fayette County 911 to report that her father assaulted her. The call led police to the suburban Atlanta home of megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar and ultimately resulted in a night behind bars on Friday.
The audio from the phone call was released Tuesday.
“I just got into an altercation with my father. He punched me and threatened to choke me,” the girl told a 911 dispatcher. “Um, this is not the first time that this has happened. I feel threatened by being in this house. Um… I don’t know, I don’t know what can be done. But I’m scared, I’m shaking.”
Dollar publicly denied punching or choking his teenage daughter during Sunday service at World Changers International Church, but in the police report, he admitted emotions ran high very early Friday morning and he attempted to “restrain” his daughter when she became “disrespectful.”
In the 911 tapes, the teen explained to the dispatcher that her father attacked her because of grades and a dispute about a party that she wanted to attend.
“It was a previous argument about me going to a party on Saturday. And he brought up grades and I started crying so I walked out the room to the kitchen with my sister. It was just me and my sister in the kitchen. He followed me while I was crying and he kept asking me why I was crying. And I said I do not want to talk to you. And he went off. That’s when he went off,” Dollar’s daughter says on the tape.
According to the police report, an investigator also interviewed Dollar’s 19-year-old daughter, who backed up her younger sister’s account of what allegedly happened.
In the 911 audio, the young victim explained that her father became increasingly aggressive.
“He came, he put his arm around my neck. Choked me and bent me over the table and I pushed him off of me and he threw me on the ground and punched me in my face. And this is going on for a good two, three minutes. Then my mom came in the room, and he stopped. And my mom asked him what happened, and he said I hit him first. Which is a lie,” she told the dispatcher.
Police took Dollar into custody and charged him with simple battery and cruelty to children. Dollar told his congregation that this a family matter and also flatly stated, “I should not have been arrested.”
Dollar is a controversial pastor in the Atlanta area and is best known for preaching a prosperity gospel — a belief that the better Christian you are, the more wealth you will acquire. His church claims 30,000 members, and he has a popular television ministry as well.