Televangelist Creflo Dollar arrested in alleged choking attack on daughter

MSNBC/June 8, 2012

Fayetteville, Georgia -- Creflo Dollar, founder and pastor of World Changers Church International, was arrested early Friday on charges involving the choking of his 15-year-old daughter.

Dollar was taken into custody at his Fayetteville home and charged with simple battery and cruelty to children, NBC station WXIA of Atlanta reported.

According to the report from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office, Dollar's daughter called police to say that her father attacked her after they argued about whether the daughter could attend a party. Advertise | AdChoices

The report says the daughter alleged that Dollar choked her, then threw her to the ground, punched her and hit her with his shoe. The responding officer noticed a scratch on the daughter's neck near her throat; the daughter said her father gave her the scratch during the fight.

When police interviewed Dollar, he said he tried to restrain his daughter when she "became very disrespectful" after he told her she couldn't go to the party, according to the report. Dollar admitted to spanking his daughter and wrestling her to the floor, but said it was because she hit him.

Dollar was taken to the Fayette County Jail after his arrest. Fayette County Police spokesman Brent Rowan said Dollar had his first appearance in magistrate court Friday and posted $5,000 bond, WXIA reported.

"As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times, and I would never use my hand to ever cause bodily harm to my children," Dollar said in a statement released by his lawyer Nikki Bonner and obtained by The Associated Press. "The facts in this case will be handled privately to further protect my children. My family thanks you for your prayers and continued support."

Dollar will make no further comments since he's involved in an ongoing criminal matter, but he is expected to preach Sunday, Bonner said.

According to his website, Dollar began World Changers ministries in 1986 and it grew, moving in 1996 the 8,500-seat World Dome, built in College Park for nearly $18 million without any bank financing. He and his wife, Taffi, church co-pastor, have five children. The ministry has 16 satellite locations and plans more. Creflo and Taffi Dollar also host "Changing Your World" television and radio broadcasts. The program is featured on the Trinity Broadcast Network.

Dollar was among six televangelists investigated in 2011 by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and the Senate Finance Committee. Their report raised questions about the personal use of church-owned airplanes, luxury homes and credit cards by pastors and their families, and about the lack of oversight of finances by boards often packed with the televangelists' relatives and friends.

Dollar and his World Changers Church International of College Park and Creflo Dollar Ministries were among four televangelism organizations that the committee said did not cooperate with the investigation.

Dollar was a favorite of Rudy Eugene, the naked man shot dead by a Miami officer May 26 when, police say, he would not stop eating the face of a homeless man, Ronald Poppo.

"We watched Creflo Dollar Ministries every morning," Yovonka Bryant, Eugene's girlfriend, told a news conference covered by on Wednesday.

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