Church of Wells elder allegedly caused disturbance at Sabine High School event

Published: Feb. 10, 2014 at 9:01 PM CST
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Jacob Gardner (Source: Gregg County Jail)
Jacob Gardner (Source: Gregg County Jail)

GREGG COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A spokesman for the Gregg County Sheriff's Office said an elder with the Church of Wells was arrested on misdemeanor criminal trespass and resisting arrest charges in connection to a Jan. 31 incident in which he allegedly caused a disturbance at Sabine High School.

Jacob McGinley Gardner, 25, of Wells, was booked into the Gregg County Jail on Feb. 1. He posted a $1,500 bail and was released the same day he was booked into the jail.

Lt. Kirk Haddix of the Gregg County Sheriff's Office said Gardner was at a youth Christian event at Sabine High School on the evening of Jan. 31 when he allegedly started telling kids they were going to hell and that what they were being taught was wrong. Haddix said Gardner refused verbal commands to leave the premises and then pulled away from officers.

The other three individuals with Gardner were given warnings, Haddix said.

East Texas News learned of Gardner's arrest on Feb. 7 When Gardner was contacted by phone and asked to comment on his arrest, he said, "No, thanks."

Stacey Bryce, the Sabine ISD superintendent, said the event was not a Sabine ISD event.

"Several churches get together and rent our auditorium each year for this event," Superintendent Bryce said "It has nothing to do with the school district."

In January, a Church of Wells deacon was arrested in New York in connection to an alleged threatening phone call. New York State Police spokeswoman Jennifer Fleishman said Richard Trudeau, 31, of Wells, was arrested following an allegation of a threatening phone call to a woman. Fleishman said Trudeau has a home in New York's Franklin County.

He is charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and is being held on a $2,000 cash bail.

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