“Prosecutors in New Jersey said a pastor staged an elaborate kidnapping and assault scene that prompted a police investigation — all because of some personal events happening in his life.
Somerset County prosecutors announced Monday the arrest of Jairon Pena, 36, of Somerville, New Jersey. He is charged with lying to police and reporting a fictitious assault.
On Friday, Oct. 30 at 11:20 a.m., police responded to a 911 call at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church on East Main Street in Somerville. The call was for a person who had been assaulted and tied up.
The responding officers encountered Pena who had his hands loosely tied with a rope behind his back, legs tied, and a piece of cloth stuffed into his mouth.
He also had a plastic bag over his head, along with a piece of paper taped to his chest and back with a misspelled Islamic phrase.
Jairon Pena, a pastor of the church, informed officers that he had been physically assaulted by two men and a woman, who were masked and wearing gloves.
The Somerville Police Department conducted an investigation and found inconsistencies in Pena’s account of the attack.
Pena alleged that the suspects stomped on the Bibles in the church while ridiculing his God and then tied his hands and legs, and placed a rag in his mouth and a bag over his head.
After being admitted to the hospital it was discovered that the pastor had no visible injuries that would normally be present as a result of being assaulted and bound.
The investigation revealed that Pena had lied to the police and fabricated the entire event by staging a crime scene “due to some personal events in his life.”
Pastor Pena was charged with third degree false public alarm, fourth degree false swearing and fictitious report to law enforcement, a disorderly persons offense.
After being formally charged he was released pending a future court appearance.”