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Street Preacher Charged In Bible Assault Returns

Police officer charged preacher with resisting arrest and assault on an officer with a bible.

Athens, TN -- A street preacher charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a policeman with a Bible has returned to the intersection in Athens, Tennessee, where he's preached for years. More than a dozen supporters joined 66 year old David Decker on Sunday. Some carried signs, others Bibles, and one man played a trumpet as the group sang gospel songs. Decker was arrested a week earlier following a scuffle with officers who said he was standing in the road. One officer said Decker struck him in the face with a Bible. Police sprayed Decker with pepper spray and handcuffed him. Decker, who's free on bond, contends he was not in the road and did not hit the officer on the nose, but just pointed at him with a Bible. Athens Police Chief Chuck Ziegler said the issue is not about religion or free speech, but rather about "safety for pedestrians and the motoring public."