Man holds suspect with knife at gunpoint outside church

Joshua Betke (Source: Marion Police Department)

MARION, N.C. (WSPA) — Police say a suspect arrested outside a church claimed his guardian angel told him to stab one of the victims.

Officers with the Marion Police Department responded around 6:49 p.m. Wednesday to East Marion Baptist Church. When police arrived on scene, they found church members holding down a man later identified as Joshua Betke.

Police say Betke had been staying at local shelter and came to a worship service at the church where he asked to speak to a man he said was his case worker at the shelter.

The man agreed to speak to Betke and they stepped outside the church. That’s when police say Betke brandished a large knife and tried to stab the man in the chest. A church security member was nearby and shoved Betke away from the victim before drawing a concealed handgun, ordering Betke to drop the knife and get on the ground, police say.

Police said in a statement that at one point Betke stated his “Guardian Angel” told him to carry out the act.

Betke dropped his knife and was arrested when police arrived a short time later.

Police say Betke is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He’s in the McDowell County Jail under an $18,100 bond.

Police say the victims suffered small cuts during the struggle.

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