Macon Police Arrest Suspected Roach Thrower | News
Police say they have arrested a man suspected of throwing roaches at a 164-year-old Macon church.
For the last month, parishioners struggled with a mystery. They said someone was coming in the middle of the night and throwing cockroaches at their front door.
James Denson, a steward at Fountain AME Temple Church on Madison Street, told 13WMAZ police informed him that Michael Walker, 49, was arrested Thursday for criminal trespass and confessed to police to being the roach thrower.
It isn't the first time the church has been troubled by Walker either, Denson says. Nor was it the first time they caught him on video in the act.
Several months ago, Denson says he recorded Walker dumping tree limbs on church property, even after Denson had "politely" replaced the tree limbs back on Walker's property. Just a few weeks ago, Denson said Walker also drove through the church's backyard.
Both he and the police spoke to Walker regarding these other events, but Denson still can't explain why the church is having problems with this particular neighbor.
Because of the contentious history, Denson said he initially suspected Walker of being the one tossing cups of cockroaches at the church, but said, "It didn't really look like him on the video."
However, after speaking with the congregation, Denson says the church will drop charges if Walker apologizes, either in person or through the media.
"We are forgiving people. We just wanted to stop the harassment," Denson says. "All I want is for him to respect the church and the people who attend."
Denson gave 13WMAZ a copy of surveillance video showing a shirtless man walking up to the church and making an underhanded throwing motion with cups in his hands.
In the video, it isn't clear what the man is throwing, but Denson says a month ago he first noticed the random appearance of several dead and living cockroaches at the church's doorstep.
Initially, he thought nothing of it and simply decided to spray pesticide.
But when the roaches returned a few days later, he became suspicious and looked at the video from the cameras stationed around the church.
He filed a police report for criminal trespass earlier this week but said he was unsure when the shirtless man would reappear because he has come at random. One week, Denson says, the man visited four times. Other weeks, several days passed between roach sightings.
Denson said he believed the man on the video was capturing roaches to throw at the church, though he said neither he nor the church members understood why.
Spokeswoman Jami Gaudet was unable to release the name immediately but confirmed the arrest.
Check back with 13WMAZ and 13WMAZ.com later for updates on this story.