Framingham pastor beat girlfriend in church, police say
Minister faces assault charges
FRAMINGHAM — The pastor of a small Baptist congregation, amid a drunken frenzy, beat his girlfriend with such force inside the church that she feared he was trying to kill her, according to court documents released Tuesday.
Misty Bergeron’s 5-year-old son was also inside New Bethel Baptist Church when the Rev. Timothy P. Jones, 55, arrived after a day of drinking, the documents said.
Jones was arrested Saturday on charges of domestic assault and battery, kidnapping, larceny, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace. During Jones’s arraignment on Monday in Framingham District Court, a judge set several stipulations for his release on bail, including house arrest except when working, no alcohol, and staying at least 30 yards away from Bergeron, who is 35.
Looking through a window from his apartment, Jones declined to comment Tuesday, except to say that he still leads the 22-year-old church.
It was at this multifamily house where things began to unravel, according to the documents detailing the allegations.
Jones had started drinking about 1 p.m. Friday, and his girlfriend of three years told police that arguments were inevitable when alcohol was involved, so she left, taking her son back to the church where the two had been living.
Bergeron kept getting abusive text messages from Jones, court documents said.
She and her son left the church about 4:30 to grab dinner at a Salvation Army and to give the boy “time out of the church,” the report said.
The two returned about 10:30 p.m. and the nasty text messages reportedly continued. But Bergeron, according to a police report, “ignored Jones because she did not want to deal with him while he was drunk.”
He showed up at the church about midnight and accosted Bergeron, verbally, then physically. According to the report, he accused her of cheating, punched her, and slapped her.
Bergeron tried to escape by running into a bathroom, where she used a chair to barricade the door and call 911. But, the report said, Jones forced his way in. He swiped the iPhone from Bergeron’s hand as she was telling a police dispatcher “that she feared for her life,” according to the report.
She was able to get past Jones and ran into the street, where she was met by police.
Bergeron had a bleeding right hand and bruises on the right side of her face and left shoulder, according to police.
As Bergeron was being taken to MetroWest Medical Center, she told police her son was still playing inside the church. Two officers found the boy and took him to the hospital to meet his mother, and child welfare authorities were alerted.
Jones, police said, was arrested trying to escape the scene at his Beech Street church, where he has ministered for nearly a decade. Officers found him about a block away on Franklin Street.
They ordered Jones to show his hands, and he refused, responding by swearing aggressively, the police report said. He continued to ignore orders and took what officers said in their report was “an offensive posture.” So, the report said, Jones was “escorted to the ground.”
Jones continued to struggle and swear, telling officers that he was a pastor, that they would be sorry, that “God would judge” them, the report said.
“Jones’s actions were annoying, tumultuous, and without a legitimate purpose,” wrote Jason Ball of the Framingham police, who said he had previously experienced the couple’s volatile relationship.
As police took Jones to the station, the smell of alcohol emanated from the back of the police cruiser, intensifying when Jones spoke, the report said.
Jones denied hitting Bergeron and declined to provide an explanation for the night’s events, saying, according to the report, “You’re just going to listen to a white female over a black man anyway.” During Jones’s arrest, he said he was being treated unfairly because of the double standard in treatment of black and white Americans, documents said.