“Glendale police have arrested a 19-year-old woman suspected of attacking a controversial street preacher with a baseball bat outside Apollo High School.
Tabitha Renee Brubaker was taken into custody Thursday. She is facing an aggravated assault charge in connection with the April 26 incident.
The sound of a metal bat striking a hard object was captured on cell phone video.
“I was so distraught hearing that, and seeing that that’s being posted on my sister,” said Kayla Brubaker. “My sister, she’s not that type of person.”
The victim, Dean Saxton, known as Brother Dean, was using a megaphone to preach his beliefs to kids at the school across the street.
“Many of you Apollo High schoolers are going to hell!” he shouted.
Saxton has made headlines in the past for holding signs that say women who dress immodestly deserve to get raped. During the demonstration at Apollo High, he told gay students they were going to hell and disparaged Muslims as “dirty.”
Within minutes, several students and parents approached Saxton and urged him to leave. While speaking with one parent, someone struck him over the head with a bat.
Saxton needed eight staples to close the gash on his head. While the video does not show the impact, you can clearly hear the bat hit his head. He posted that video to YouTube on May 5. The assault is about 17 minutes into the clip.
Earlier this week, Saxton posted a photo of himself after the attack, blood dripping down his face, on Twitter.
“If you think the gay community accepts and tolerates others just wait till they hit you over the head with a metal bat,” he wrote.
The video shows the school’s assistant principal standing nearby when the attack took place. According to police, he identified the suspect as Brubaker, a former Apollo student. The assistant principal also said he saw her car in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex and watched “her approach the victim from behind and strike him one time with a lighter-colored bat.”
While searching Brubaker’s home and car, investigators found a shirt “consistent with the one seen in the video,” and “a metal tire jack extension.”
Investigators also found marijuana and a glass pipe in the car.
After being advised of her rights, Brubaker “advised that she had no involvement in the incident,” according to the arresting officer’s probable cause statement. She also said she “could have been in the area visiting friends or girlfriends.”
According to court paperwork, Brubaker admitted the marijuana and pipe police found in her car were hers.
Brubaker is facing three felony charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The other two counts are drug-related charges.
Brubaker did not say a word when she made her initial court appearance Friday.
A judge set her bail at $10,000 and scheduled a status conference for June 3, followed by preliminary hearing on June 6.
Saxton describes himself as “an open air preacher of the gospel at the University of Arizona” on his blog, which he has not updated since Feb. 13, so there is no mention of the attack for which Brubaker was arrested.
Saxton made headlines in 2013 when his “You Deserve Rape” message sparked controversy at the school.
“Most of these girls on this campus are asking to be raped…and a lot of them will get it!” He said. “Why don’t you girls sew on some clothes that actually cover up!”
Despite complaints from students, the university said it would protect Saxton’s — and everybody else’s — right to free speech.
“No matter what happened, no matter who did it, nobody deserves to get hurt,” said Brubaker’s sister. “I mean no matter how disgraceful his comments were, what sexuality he was aiming against, I don’t think anybody in general needs violence.”