SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - Montgomery County police have arrested a man for assaulting a pastor at a Silver Spring church, but the man has denied also being involved in the theft of thousands of pennies from the church on the same day.
Police arrested 22-year-old Noe Guillen-Velasquez and charged him with second-degree burglary and second-degree assault in the Jan. 9 incident at New Creation Baptist Church. On that same day, someone stole 40,000 pennies being collected by children for the needy.
Police said a black knit hat was left by the person who attacked the pastor at the church and that DNA evidence matched Guillen-Velasquez. Pennies were also found on the floor of his home, but he denied swiping the church's collection.
The church has resumed collecting pennies and now has about 250,000.