Trial Starts for Two Arrested Reading Bible in Front of DMV
On Monday, two members of Hemet church appeared in court for their February 2011 arrests for reading the Bible outside a DMV office. Brett Anthony Coronado, 42, of Reconciled Christian Fellowship and Mark Allen Mackey, 59, of Calvary Chapel Hemet, came to the DMV before business hours and began reading aloud from the Bible. When a security guard confronted Mackey and told him to leave, the men said they weren’t interfering with DMV business and that they were protected by the First Amendment. They were then arrested by California High Officer Darrin Meyer, who cited them for “impeding an open business.”
“We believe that these men were exercising their First Amendment right of Free Speech,” said their attorney, Robert Tyler with Advocates for Faith & Freedom. “These men were simply sharing their faith on public property, and we will defend their constitutional right to do so.”
The men have filed a federal lawsuit, but that lawsuit has been delayed until after their pending criminal case. If convicted, the men face 90 days in jail or a $400 fine, or both.