Raytown, MO (KCTV) — The man accused of holding a sword, armed with knives and a blowgun when Raytown police say he took them on a bizarre slow-speed chase that ended with a crash into a church has now been charged.
Phillip D. Perkins, 44, faces charges of two counts of second-degree assault, four counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest and first-degree property damage.
Surveillance cameras captured the man crashing a U-Haul moving truck into the First Baptist Church at 10500 E. Highway 350 about 5:07 a.m. A woman and four children, ranging in age from 3 to 8, were found in the truck. Police do not believe that the woman, who was determined to be Perkins’ girlfriend, and children were being held against their will.
The man made statements about believing in God and placed the sword against the neck of two people, police said. He had 20 weapons with him.
“Then they backed up and tried to ram the entrance again,” said the church’s pastor, Brandon Park, said.
Police used a Tazer to get the man in custody. He had weapons taped to his body.
“That was our No. 1 concern. The woman and those four children,” Park said.
The children’s grandmother picked them up from the police station Thursday afternoon. She said she now has temporary custody.
Phyllis Muturi, Perkins’ mother, said she paid for the U-Haul. She asked for prayers for her family.
“There’s no doubt in my mind and my heart how much I love them and it hurts me that they’re going through this,” she said.
Officers helped her install car seats so she could take the children home. She said the family was moving from Grandview to Raytown and her son had weapons because he practices martial arts.
The bizarre slow-speed police chase that ended in the crash started about 4:20 a.m. at a gas station in the 6500 block of Raytown Road when someone reported a man with a sword. Witnesses said the man used a sword while threatening two men in the parking lot.
“He was brandishing a sword and asking people what they felt about God. All sorts of very strange behavior,” Park said.
Muturi believes her son had a mental breakdown.
“It’s a mental illness thing with my son. We can get some help and get that taken care of,” she said. “I think if you have a mental breakdown, you have no clues to what’s going to happening to you.”
Officers arrived as the man fled in a large U-Haul truck. Police pursued the truck at slow speeds for over 40 minutes. It was determined during the pursuit that there were children in the cab of the truck. Stop sticks were used to slow the truck.
The truck finally drove to First Baptist Church where it crashed into the front doors. Just above the entrance the man crashed through is a Bible passage that says, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the LORD. Psalm 122:1”
“‘I was glad when they said to come into the house of the Lord.’ I don’t think that’s what that means,” Director of Security for First Baptist Church Don Keith said. “It’s not a drive through church.”
The church’s pastor is thankful no one was hurt. Now cleanup is underway. First Baptist Church had to board up the large hole left by the crash.
“Tons of our church members have showed up in force just to help board up the open gap,” Park said.
Perkins’ girlfriend was questioned by police and released. She and Perkins have been ordered not to have contact with the kids.
Now Muturi, a recent retiree, is figuring out where the kids will sleep in her one bedroom East Kansas City home.
“I can give the kids the bed and I’ll sleep in this chair, it reclines just fine,” she said. “I will sleep in this chair, I would.”
KCTV5 contacted Sleepyhead Beds, a local charity. They are searching for a sponsor to get Muturi beds for her grandchildren.
The church will have services this Sunday.AlertMe