Suspects in custody in robbery of Brooklyn bishop during Sunday service in July
BROOKLYN (WABC) — Two suspects are now in custody in connection with the robbery of a bishop in Brooklyn.
Bishop Lamor Whitehead was held up at gunpoint during a live stream of his Sunday morning sermon in July. Whitehead was on stage at Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries when men wearing dark outfits with hoods entered the room.
Raw Video from the Livestream:
On Wednesday, police announced the arrests of 23-year-old Juwan Anderson and 23-year-old Say-Quan Pollack on federal robbery conspiracy and firearm charges.
Bishop Whitehead told reporters he is relieved police have made an arrest and he is looking forward to moving on with his life.
“I’m hoping that this clears a lot of things up with my name as far as, you know, the world believing that I’m a villain instead of a victim, and it hurts,” he said.
The bishop had previously said the men targeted him and his wife and took a total of $1 million in jewelry.
“As alleged, the defendants brought guns into a place of worship, stealing from two members of the clergy, and terrifying the congregation in the process,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace.
The brazenness of the robbery was shocking to those in Whitehead’s church service and watching the livestream.
“A very, very violent robbery crew that we saw,” said NYPD Inspector Nicholas Fiore. “With no regard to anybody else, in the middle of the mass, holding a child at gunpoint, that’s a pretty rough robbery.”
And that’s why the NYPD says it became a federal case under the Hobbs Act.
“We get a 10 year minimum on a robbery with a firearm,” Fiore said.
The case drew attention to the fact that Whitehead had a million dollars worth of jewelry to steal — something he defended. He says he has no connection to the two suspects.
Among the questions he has for them, if they wanted the jewelry, why not target him while he was wearing the jewelry out in public — instead choosing to traumatize his family.
“Why would you go into the church and do what you’ve done?” Whitehead said. “Because you know we don’t have any weapons? Because you know we have peace, you know are coming to serve our Jesus? Right? And that’s just wrong?”
The two suspects pleaded not guilty.
A third man is being sought in connection to the robbery and the million dollars worth of jewelry has not been recovered.
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