Man Accused of Assaulting Street Preacher Speaks Out

Man Accused of Assaulting Street Preacher Speaks Out

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Samantha Hayes reporting A man accused of assaulting a street preacher during this weekend's General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks out about why he couldn't just walk away.

Late Monday night, Jose Basilio was released from jail after spending more than a full day there on suspicion of felony robbery.

He says he was so incensed by what the preacher was doing, he felt compelled to do something about it.

Street preachers are common fixtures on these public sidewalks during General Conference. On Sunday a few LDS faithful countered the street preachers with their own signs.

But it was something else, something even more offensive that caused one member of the church to reach his breaking point.

He's walked by this many times-- anti-LDS sermons shouted from a public pulpit on the sidewalk.

But during this General Conference, with his little boy in hand, the sight of a street preacher waving sacred temple garments was just too much for 50-year-old Jose Basilio.

Jose Basilio/ Charged with Robbery: "This person was talking against the Church, saying bad things against the Prophet. He was showing a garment. It was a woman's garment. The ones we wear as members of the LDS Church. I'm a High Priest. I was angry. I tried to take it from him....He said I tried to hit him. But I did not hit him. I know martial arts and if I would have wanted to hurt him, I could have broken his arm or leg. He was just a youth and I am an adult. I had no intention to hurt him."

Police say Basilio yanked the garments away from the preacher and then ran off.

Dwayne Baird/ Salt Lake City Police: "In doing so, it took the man to the ground, the victim, and it dragged him a couple of feet as this man ran away with his property."

Jose Basilio's wife says her husband is always helping others and in this case, was provoked.

Olivia Basilio/ Suspect's wife: "My husband is always helping the community. Ask anyone and they will be witnesses of what I (am) saying."

Street preacher Lonnie Pursifull says upsetting members with sacred garments is supposed to expose what he believes are the church's heretical ordinances.

Lonnie Pursifull/World Wide Street Preachers Fellowship: "It's going to make them mad, but the bottom line is, it's conviction they are under."

Olivia Basilio: "They don't know what they are doing. They don't know the truth."

"To me, it's important that someday they accept the truth."

Jose Basilio is home with his family after posting bail. He says he doesn't regret what he did.

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