Pastor Tackles Would-Be Armed Robbery Suspect During Sermon At Melbourne Church

By  //  August 3, 2015

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The Melbourne Police Department arrested John Grace for attempting to commit an armed robbery of the congregation at the Christian Fellowship Church this past Sunday. (BCSO Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Melbourne Police Department arrested John Grace for attempting to commit an armed robbery of the congregation at the Christian Fellowship Church this past Sunday.

Grace, 21, of Melbourne, walked into the church during a sermon and, “put a very real looking BB gun up to the head of one of the parishioners,” according to Melbourne Police Commander Dan Lynch.

The suspect demanded money from all the people inside the church and threatened to shoot them if they did not comply with his demands, according to Commander Lynch.

Grace then ordered everyone to the ground and told them to tie themselves up with zip ties that he threw at them as they were getting on the ground.

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The suspect was also armed with a large kitchen knife, according to Commander Lynch.

The pastor of the church, Leslie Snodgrass, approached Grace and began to talk to him. Once Pastor got close enough to Grace, Snodgrass tackled him.

Darius Snodgrass

Darius Snodgrass

With the help of his son, Darius Snodgrass, the men were able to wrestle the gun away and subdued Grace until police arrived.

The Melbourne Police Department quickly arrived on scene and placed the suspect under arrest for the robbery.

According to Commander Lynch, the firearm was an exact replica of a Sig Sauer pistol; however, it was determined later on to be a BB gun.CRIMELINE-200

If anyone has any information that could help about this crime or any other crime, please call Central Florida Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

Calls to Crimeline are anonymous, and tips that lead to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.

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ABOVE MAP: The Melbourne Police Department arrested John Grace for attempting to commit an armed robbery of the congregation at the Christian Fellowship Church this past Sunday at 17 E Melbourne Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901.


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