Minnesota pastor arrested for impersonating officer and allegedly pepper spraying teen

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota pastor Keith Haskell is facing criminal charges after being accused of impersonating an officer and pepper spraying a teen.

"Our car was parked right here and his car was not even parked really, it was like trying to trap us in like so we couldn't leave," teen victim Abraam Rodriguez said.

According to court documents, Haskell tailed the 17 year old after watching his cousin admittedly shoplift about $10 worth of snacks from a local grocery store.

"He's like, 'put your hands up, put your hands up, I'm a cop. I need you to get out the vehicle or whatever,'" Rodriguez said.

Witnesses claim Haskell said he was an officer, and they saw him try to yank the teens out of their SUV.

"Like the most vivid memory would be him pepper spraying my cousin, because that just wasn't called for at all," Rodriguez said.

Police said the 55-year-old pastor told them he used the pepper spray in self-defense but also admitted to carrying a baton.

Haskell's attorney issued a statement saying "The police investigation is absurd and flawed. My client was the victim. We will fight these allegations in the courts.”

But, maybe the pastor just wanted to reach out to the youth?

Still, it's a rather bizarre way to deliver a spiritual message.

The teens involved aren't exactly angels, either especially since one admitted to shoplifting!

"Like if he would have called the cops it would have been better," Rodriguez said.

Guess when it comes to 'right and wrong' sometimes the battle lines can get pretty blurry!