Sheriff says Haskell case has satanic qualities

A Haskell man reportedly suspected of “satanic qualities” was arrested Friday during the investigation of vandalism to a Haskell police officer’s patrol and private cars.
When information about the felony criminal mischief case identified Derek Allen Pike as the prime suspect, a search warrant was obtained and executed at Pike’s residence, where a “mutilated” baby Jesus doll was found, Saline County Sheriff Phil Mask said in a news conference Tuesday.

The discovery of the doll came after detectives found knives, guns and other contraband that had been reported stolen from four burglaries in Saline County and one in Little Rock. A .357 Magnum gun belonging to a retired state trooper’s family also was located, according to the sheriff’s report.

The Benton thefts included several roof-top burglaries, one in which First United Methodist Church was the target, the report states. The baby Jesus doll was identified as one that had been taken from the nativity scene at the church.

The report notes that there were “numerous symbols of satanic symbols painted in (Pike’s) residence” at 115 Timber Lake in Haskell.

Based on the confiscated evidence and other information, Mask said he suspected that Pike was influencing young people to join him in a satanic cult.

Suspects who appear to be “dabbling in, getting involved in satanic cults, they’re the ones you have to fear,” the sheriff said.

Pike was released from jail on a $2,500 bond. He is expected to appear in court July 14, Mask said.

The report further states that Pike is the leader of a rock band and has influenced juveniles to participate in criminal mischief and burglaries. “Pike’s band dressed in the Goth look and has a definite satanic influence,” the report notes.

Prosecuting Attorney Robert Herzfeld, who did not participate in the press conference, said he will prosecute the case as a theft of property and burglary case.

With regard to the Sheriff’s Department painting Pike as being the culprit of a satanic cult, Herzfeld said he has not been given any information that makes the “satanic symbols” relevant in this case.

Defense Attorney Joe Kelly Hardin said the assertion that Pike is satanic is pure speculation. “He’s not a devil worshiper of any type.”

Kelly said Pike “parties,” but not unlike other people his age. “Investigators have blown this way out of proportion,” he added.

Pike faces four counts of residential burglary, a Class B felony; two counts of theft by receiving, a class C felony; one count of criminal mischief in the first degree, a Class D felony; and using another person’s property to facilitate a crime, also a Class D felony.

A juvenile also was arrested in conjunction with Pike’s arrest. Mask said the investigation in ongoing and anticipates additional arrests.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Benton Courier, USA
July 7, 2004
Jillian Fry

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday July 8, 2004.
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