Man Sues Church Over Exorcism Injuries, Claims Assault

He says Reverend and wife knocked tooth out, injured his back.

By Patrick Hickey Jr.
|  Monday, Mar 11, 2013  |  Updated 11:54 AM EDT
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Man Sues Church Over Exorcism Injuries, Claims Assault

According to the lawsuit, the defendants, Rev. Joel Arwood, his wife Theresa Arwood and deacon Charles Shields, asked Byrd on Feb. 21, 2012, to attend a meeting because he had a “demon or spirit that needed to be cast out." (Photo from recent exorcism film "The Devil Inside.")

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Although he didn't contort into any uncomfortable positions like those exorcised on the big screen, a Tennessee man is suing his local church after he was apparently roughed up by a reverend and his wife, as well as a deacon in an "exorcism."

Andrew Byrd filed the lawsuit on Feb. 15 and is asking for $200,000 in compensatory damages and $3.5 million in punitive damages. According to the court documents, he suffered a broken tooth, bruising on his face and back and leg injuries, Knox News reported.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants, Rev. Joel Arwood, his wife Theresa Arwood and deacon Charles Shields, asked Byrd on Feb. 21, 2012, to attend a meeting at the church because he had a “demon or spirit that needed to be cast out."

“Thereafter, Joel Arwood and Charles Shields physically assaulted (Byrd), while being encouraged by the shouts of Theresa Arwood,” Byrd said in the lawsuit.

Byrd also states that Arwood later bragged to his congregation that he, "knocked the devil's tooth out."

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