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Texarkana Arkansas Police Department advises vigilance after man is arrested at church

by Stevon Gamble | April 19, 2023 at 10:00 p.m.

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- A Louisiana man is in custody after allegedly fighting with officers Tuesday at a local church where members reported him as a suspicious person.

Phillip Osbon, 49, of Minden, was arrested at Faith Assembly of God and charged with four misdemeanors -- obstructing governmental operations, resisting arrest, fleeing on foot, and possession of a controlled substance-marijuana under 4 ounces. He remains in the Miller County Detention Center on total bail of $3,050.

Texarkana Arkansas Police Department received a call Tuesday morning from the security team at Faith Assembly, 2001 Arkansas Blvd., about a man who had been acting suspiciously while attending revival services.

"We were informed of several incidents on different nights that made church members believe the man was testing the security of the church while also asking personal questions about the members and staff," public information officer Cpl. Les Munn said Wednesday in a news release.

At the request of the church, TAPD dispatched officers to Faith Assembly at the beginning of services Tuesday "to make the church members feel safer," the release states.

Osbon reportedly arrived at 7 p.m. and entered the church.

"Officers on scene walked by the man's vehicle and observed in plain view an AR-style rifle, multiple 30-round magazines, a shotgun, a belt loaded with shotgun shells, knives, tourniquets, and other survival gear," Munn said.

The vehicle reportedly is registered to Osbon in Bay City, Texas.

Officers shared the information with church staff, and they requested Osbon be removed from the property.

When officers saw Osbon leave a bathroom, they asked to speak with him. He reportedly ignored their request and walked by them toward the main sanctuary, which was filled with worshippers.

"Officers repeated their request, and they reached to grab his arm to gain his attention. The man turned around, balled up his fist and took a fighting stance while backing up into the sanctuary where church services had already begun," Munn said in the release.

Osbon then began fighting with officers and tried to remove items from one officer's utility belt, Munn said.

Officers subdued Osbon with pepper spray and took him into custody. Police reportedly found marijuana along with personal identification on him.

Osbon also has an active felony warrant in Colorado on a charge of obstructing justice related to an alleged assault on a peace officer. However, the state is not asking for Osbon to be extradited, Munn said.

Osbon's arrest has sounded an alarm in Texarkana, Munn said.

"I have been contacted by other churches indicating they have had similar incidents," he said to the Gazette.

Consequently, TAPD has requested assistance from the FBI in investigating Osbon.

"We encourage our local churches, businesses and civic organizations to be alert and aware of activities that are outside the normal for their members and daily functions.We encourage you to contact your local law enforcement if you feel unsafe or if you need to discuss a situation that may need further investigation," Munn said. "TAPD is happy to assist in developing a security plan for your group or facility."

Anyone with information on Tuesday's arrest or similar incidents is asked to contact Munn by email at [email protected].

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