At the Culleoka Bethel Church of Christ, their small tight knit congregation is always happy to have new comers.

"We went over, welcomed him and shook his hand," said Giles County investigator Mike Thomasan who was at church and off duty at the time. 

Thomasan quickly realized there was something about the stranger who showed up Sunday that wasn't quite right.

"As the service started, I noticed he was wiping sweat off his forehead. He immediately got up and walked outside," said Thomasan. 

Thomasan saw what looked like a pistol in the man's car and when he ran the man's tag it showed a warrant out for his arrest for felony theft. 

When deputies showed up, they found a pellet gun, a sword disguised as a cane, and several knives in the man's car.

"It was really tense there for a minute. We didn't know what he was doing or  what he had," said Thomasan. 

"I can see their point of view, with what you see on the news and all those people, it's crazy. So I can see them being paranoid," said the man who was arrested, David Lewis.

Lewis said he wasn't planning to hurt anyone.

When we asked about why he had the weapons, Lewis said, "primarily self defense, and the cane was legitimate because I've got back problems I use it for walking," said Lewis. 

Thomasan said he doesn't know what would have happened if he hadn't called for backup.

"He could have come in and try and rob or hold somebody at gunpoint or knife point," said Thomasan. 

He's also glad he didn't have to find out.

"You hate to be that way, but this day and time, you've got to just be on your toes and if you think something is suspicious go with your instincts," said Thomasan. 

Lewis said he was at the church because he was working up the street and needed to kill some time.

He said he was walking in and out during the service because his allergies were acting up.  

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



Carley Gordon joined the News4 team as a reporter in 2009. Carley currently covers the crime beat around Middle Tennessee.

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