A North Carolina pastor who was accused of urinating on a woman while she was sleeping on a plane has stepped down from his position at a church.
Daniel Chalmers, who founded Love Win Ministries, was accused of urinating on a 28-year-old Alicia Beverly aboard a late-night Delta flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on 12 October, The Charlotte Observer reported.
"It felt warm, like on the side of me I felt something warm," Ms Beverly told Fox 2. "I jump up and I seen his private area out and I screamed and that woke everybody up.”
"By that time I actually looked at him and I see him shake himself off and I’m like this man just peed on me! I looked and there was a puddle of pee in the seats!"
Catch the Fire Raleigh-Durham have since told The Observer that the pastor had resigned from his non-pastoral support role where he was responsible for communications projects and some teaching assignments as a result of the incident.
"We were saddened to hear of the news yesterday involving one of our non-pastor employees in a disorderly conduct incident earlier this month," Catch the Fire said in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
"We take these matters very seriously. This behavior is not a reflection of Catch the Fire, our leadership, and its members,” they added.
“While we were investigating the matter he was immediately suspended, and we have now subsequently accepted his resignation and his sincere, heartfelt apology to everyone involved."
Love Wins Ministries “has no official connection” to Catch the Fire Raleigh-Durham, lead pastors Murray and Ash Smith told the newspaper in a statement.
According to reports at the time, the pastor had an apparent reaction to a sleep aid. A Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) referenced in a police report released to The Observer and other news outlets revealed a 0.175 reading.
Mr Chalmers’ eyes were bloodshot and he smelled of alcohol after officers detained him after the flight, according to the report. He acknowledged having “a couple of drinks” before the flight, and said he was taking “prescribed medicine," the report said.
According to the police report, the pastor initially admitted to urinating on the woman before later denying it.
Mr Chalmers released a statement on Tuesday to Fox 2 Detroit, apologizing for what happened and saying he had a “terrible reaction” to a sleeping pill he took before the journey.
"I want to sincerely apologize for my actions on this overnight flight. I took an Ambien for the first time to sleep well on my flight and had a terrible reaction…I want to please ask everyone for their forgiveness in this. I never intended or wanted for this to happen,” he said.
An off-duty officer who happened to be on the plane and when the incident occurred restrained Mr Chalmers and took him into custody, the police report said.
Ms Beverly is seeking more than $2m in damages in a civil lawsuit filed on Thursday regarding the incident, claiming that she suffered mental and emotional distress as a result, MLive reported.
The lead pastors at Catch the Fire told The Observer: “Our heart goes out to the other passenger. We can only imagine the trauma she has experienced.”
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