A protective Oklahoma father was disturbed to hear the allegations from his 9-year-old child, who claimed that a jogger had been visiting the bus stop. The man had allegedly “inappropriately touched” the child, forcing the concerned father to take matters into his own hands. What he witnessed quickly had him seeing red, but sadly, it would only get worse as more information came to light.
Michael Coghill, a 33-year-old Oklahoma man, felt the wrath of a local father after the unnamed man’s son told his parents that he had been “inappropriately touched” by a jogger as he waited for the school bus. According to the alleged victim, the man ran by his bus stop several times and touched him in a way that made him feel uncomfortable. This, of course, rightfully upset his parents, who decided to take matters into their own hands.
Wanting to see if the suspect would return, the unnamed dad parked his car near the bus stop on a Wednesday morning while his son waited, hoping to catch the perpetrator in action, and that’s exactly what he got. Little did he know, however, things were much worse than he had originally imagined. The alleged perpetrator wasn’t just a random perverted jogger. Instead, he was identified as 33-year-old Michael Coghill, a pastor of a local church, according to Newsner, and the boy’s allegations appeared to be true.
According to the victim’s parents, they caught Coghill, who lives in a community nearby, in the act and recorded the incident. “While [the dad] was watching the school bus stop, our suspect ran by him, ran past the bus stop where the children were waiting. Turned around, came back, and stopped where he touched the child,” Sgt. Dillon Quirk with the Oklahoma City Police Department explained.
Not about to let the suspect get away with what he had done, the victim’s father chased after the man before tackling him to the ground, where he beat him up, cracking his eye socket. When police showed up at the scene, the suspect, who residents said is a minister at a church in Mustang, had visible injuries to his head and face, News 9 reported.
The pastor was arrested on a child sex crime complaint, accused of inappropriately touching a boy waiting for a school bus after the victim’s parents caught him in the act. He was held in the Oklahoma County Detention Center on one complaint of lewd acts to a child. The incident left residents in a neighborhood in shock.
“There’s [sic] hardly any words that are camera appropriate,” said local resident and witness Lisa Ward, who also claimed that she saw the suspect “in the cop car all bloody” after he allegedly touched the boy at the same stop where her daughters also wait for the bus. “It’s just sickening,” Ward added, pointing out that the suspect “knew the time he would be there every day.”
“That was the hardest part, the most disgusting part,” Ward said, referring to the fact that the perpetrator knew exactly when and where to find the children. “I just thought he was a runner in the neighborhood,” Ward said, speaking of the perpetrator, who’s also a local pastor, according to the Lakehoma Church of Christ website, where Coghill was listed as a minister.
“We were heartbroken to learn of the incident involving one of our adult ministers, and our hearts go out to the child and family involved,” the church said in a statement. “We were shocked at this news as he had a clean background check, and we have received no reports or claims against him during his tenure,” the statement furthered.
After promising that church leadership “has no tolerance for any type of abuse,” The Lakehoma Church of Christ released a statement on its Facebook page confirming that Michael “Mike” Coghill was its “discipleship minister” but has since been “relieved from all duties.” Meanwhile, police have appealed to the public for information, asking anyone who could help to come forward.
“If we have more victims, we encourage them if they know something, say something. Come forward,” Sgt. Quirk said.
While we commend this dad for not only protecting his son but doing all he could to make sure the suspect was caught, we hope that others can learn from this incident and take measures to protect their children from such perverts before they strike. We can only imagine how frightening this must have been for this boy and all of the parents in the neighborhood. It’s a sad state of affairs when you can’t send your kid to the bus stop without the worry that danger could be lurking around any corner. Hopefully, this is one monster who learned a lesson.