Christian man arrested after quoting Bible at Pennsylvania Pride march

The crowd cheered as they watched Atkins get handcuffed and hauled away from the event. 

On Saturday, a man was arrested while protesting a Pride event outside City Hall in Reading, Pennsylvania. Police detained Damon Atkins, a self-proclaimed born-again Christian, less than a minute after he arrived on the scene.

At the time of his arrest, Atkins was standing across the street from the event and holding up a sign that read "Jesus said I am the truth, the way, the life" on one side, and "Jesus said go and sin no more" on the other.

The entire incident was caught on camera by Matthew Wear, a local resident, and fellow Christian who had been preaching at the protest.

As soon as Atkins arrived on the scene, Officer Bradley McClure approached and appeared to warn him. 

"This is public property," Atkins said, standing his ground.

"Let them have their day," McClure replied, referring to the dozens of people celebrating Pride. He then asked Atkins to show some "respect."

"Oh I'm respecting," Atkins said, pointing to his sign. "You know who's cheering for us? The people that are in hell. So you do you, and I'm gonna do me."

At that point, McClure walked away before promptly turning around and coming back after Atkins began preaching. 

According to an affidavit obtained by the Lancaster Patriot, McClure said he warned Atkins about what sort of behavior was and wasn't allowed, and sought to have him arraigned for "disorderly conduct."

"I immediately approached him," McClure wrote, "and told him that while he was free to stand on that side of the street and hold his sign, he could not cross the street nor yell comments intended to disrupt the event." 

The crowd cheered as they watched Atkins get handcuffed and hauled away from the event. 

"I can't believe this is in Reading," Wear lamented. "This is an unjust arrest, and we have it on film!"

Wear followed Atkins as he was taken around the corner and questioned on the curb.

While this was going on, Reading Pride executive director Enrique Castro commented on the situation from the stage.

"To all who are who are holding signs that refer to religion," he said, "I would say God bless you, Allah bless you ... and put some love into that heart of yours."

Atkins is set to appear in court on June 16.
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