NORTH HAMPTON, Ohio - Police Chief Jarrod Campbell said in his eleven years with the department, he's rarely seen "an incident this brutal." Campbell is referring to Sunday's brutal assault on a pastor by a self-described militant atheist with a criminal past. The incident occurred following a sermon by Rev. Norman Hayes, 57, at the Bridge Community Church in North Hampton.
The suspect, 28-year-old James Maxie, of Springfield, Ohio, was attending the service with his girlfriend. According to Rev. Hayes, Maxie was vocally confrontational during the service as if "looking for an argument." After the service the couple approached Hayes. She told police that when Hayes asked if Maxie was abusing her, Maxie attacked him, striking him several times in the face in the church hallway.