Brooklyn Bishop Lamor Whitehead was handcuffed Sunday after a sermon in which he grabbed a woman he believed was a threat to his family — only to be released by police about two hours later.
“They lock me up for my children, for my wife, for my church,” Whitehead told the Daily News hours after his release. “They embarrassed me publicly and after two hours they drop all charges and apologize to me.”
Whitehead was preaching Sunday at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministry on Remsen Ave. near Avenue D in Canarsie, when two women entered the church in the middle of his sermon, he said.
Whitehead – who was robbed at gunpoint during a sermon over the summer – said the women entered “the same way as when my church was robbed”.
“I was almost done preaching and these two young ladies came in and sat in the back,” he said.
‘Do you want to come and preach? Come here,” Whitehead was heard saying to one of the women, who was off-camera, during a live stream of the services on social media. “I’m going to make you famous.”
Within moments of calling the women, at least one started screaming, the video shows.
The bishop then got off the camera and walked into the crowd and told someone to “get her out of here.”
As he walked back to the front of the church, he saw one of the women approaching him, he said.
“She came in the middle aisle and just… [started] berating me, calling me all kinds of names, calling me all kinds of things,” Whitehead said.
“She came rushing back to my wife and my 10-month-old baby,” he continued. “She went to my wife and I grabbed her. I grabbed her and took her out of my church. All I could remember were the guys with the guns sticking their guns in my baby’s face.”
In the video, Whitehead appears to grab the woman by the neck and push her off the camera before yelling, “Get her! Grab her!”
After his sermon, a detective who arrived at the church told Whitehead he would be arrested and charged with assault.
“They handcuffed me and I told them I wasn’t allowed in and they grabbed me, picked me up and put me in the car,” Whitehead said. “There were a lot of little kids in the church who are scared now – again. All the little babies in my church saw me arrested, the ones who look up to me.”
Whitehead was taken to the 69th Police Station, where police began to process him.
“All I want to do is preach the word of God and I’ll end up in jail,” he said. “They treated me like a criminal.”
Whitehead believes “senior” police officers heard that he was in custody.
“They dropped all charges and released me,” he said. “You can’t arrest me and throw me in jail. They had me in a cell with someone on a felony charge and let me out. It doesn’t stop there. If I was a rabbi, if I was a Catholic priest, they would never have done this.”
Whitehead and one of the women were taken into custody, police confirmed, without being charged immediately.
Whitehead said his ministers recognized the women who had entered the church.
“They were a few budding bloggers up and down,” he said. “They came to my church to disrupt my service.”
Three armed robbers stormed into the church in July. According to police sources, the robbers made off with $1 million worth of jewelry belonging to Whitehead and his wife, but in an exclusive interview with The News, the bishop said that number was exaggerated and inaccurate.
Whitehead, an ally of Mayor Adams, was in the headlines prior to the robbery.
In May, he attempted to orchestrate the surrender of Andrew Abdullah, the man accused of fatally shooting Goldman Sachs researcher Daniel Enriquez in the Q train, to the mayor.