'I'll Kill You, You Son of a Bitch!'
LEXINGTON, N.C. (CN) - Parishioners seeking the promised land best not run afoul of a Baptist pastor who ordered a church deacon beaten, and shouted during the attack by five men, "I'll kill you, you son of a bitch," the alleged victim claims in court.
Plaintiff Wade K. Geouge and his wife sued Charity Baptist Church fka Promiseland Baptist Church, its Pastor Brady Lowery and five other men, in Davidson County Court, N.C.
Geouge says in the lawsuit that he was a deacon, trustee, and adult Sunday school teacher at Charity Baptist in Lexington, in west central North Carolina.
Lexington once was a textile and furniture manufacturing center, but now perhaps is best known as the self-proclaimed "Barbecue Capitol of North Carolina."
Geouge claims the dispute with Pastor Lowery erupted shortly after Geouge loaned the church his personal sound equipment for a church function, on May 1, 2012.
As he had done in the past, Geouge left his equipment at the church, to pick up in a few days.
Soon, Geouge claims, he began receiving telephone calls and text messages from Lowery and the other defendants - Matthew Davis, Nicholas Edwards, Tim Edwards, James Edwards and Chris Yarbrough. He claims that all six made "aggressive and accusatory statements" to him to his wife and family.
In response, Geouge says, he told Lowery in a text message that he and his family would no longer attend the church, and asked permission to pick up his sound equipment or that the church pay him $600 for it.
A few days later, Geouge claims, the Edwards came to his house and returned most of his sound equipment, including a computer, computer monitor, keyboard, and 300-disc CD changer. But Geouge says battery charger and headphones were missing. James Edwards promised to retrieve them and bring them back, he says.
Then the dispute - the underlying cause of which is never spelled out in the complaint - took another turn.
On or about the evening of May 12, 2012, Geouge says, he received another series of accusatory text messages from the pastor about messages that Geouge had posted on his Facebook page.
"At or around the same time, defendant Brady Lowery stated to Mr. Geouge in a text message that he would either be returning the rest of Mr. Geouge's sound equipment or that Mr. Geouge would need to retrieve the equipment the next day," the complaint states.
Geouge claims that the defendants did return the rest of the sound equipment to him that night, but only as a pretext to come to his home and beat the tar out of him.
Geouge claims that when the defendants came to his door, he asked them to leave.
"I don't have a problem with any of you," Geouge said, according to the complaint.
"Well then, who do you have a problem with?" Tim Edwards asked.
"Brady," Geouge said.
"Well, if you got a problem with him, you got a problem with us," Tim Edwards said, according to the lawsuit.
Geouge says he asked the men to leave his equipment and go. When they refused to leave, Geouge says, he "reasonably feared for his safety," so he picked up a 21-inch long wood stick he keeps inside his front door for protection.
"When Mr. Geouge hit his porch railing with the wooden club, all of the individual defendants that were present ... jumped onto Mr. Geouge, shoving him face-first into a brick wall, and, soon thereafter, defendant Jamie Edwards began punching Mr. Geouge in the back of his head several times," Geouge says in the complaint.
"At approximately the same time the individual defendants shoved Mr. Geouge's face into the brick wall, defendant Brady Lowery, who was standing at the street in front of Mr. Geouge's house, yelled, 'I'll kill you, you son of a bitch. I'll kill you,'" according to the complaint.
Geouge adds: "At all times relevant hereto, Mrs. Geouge witnessed the assault and plead(ed) in desperation for the men to release Mr. Geouge. In addition, while the assault was occurring, Mrs. Geouge made an attempt to enter back into her house to call the police, but the individual defendants blocked her from doing so.
"At some point during the assault, the men released Mr. Geouge and he and Mrs. Geouge retreated back into their home to call the police."
Geouge says the attack left him with a rotator cuff injury that required surgery, and that he has since been disabled and unable to work.
He also says he's suffered extensive scarring and permanent injuries from the beating.
The Geouges seek compensatory and in punitive damages for assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and vicarious liability from the church
They are represented by James Faucher with Benson, Brown & Faucher in Greensboro, N.C.