Man accused of disrupting Temple B’rith Kodesh: ‘I didn’t come to terrorize anyone’

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BRIGHTON, N.Y. – Just before going to court, the man accused of scaring people inside Temple B’rith Kodesh spoke to News10NBC.

Christopher Avila is charged with disrupting a religious service, a misdemeanor.

Avila told us God directed him to go to the temple.

Brean: “Do you feel bad that you frightened people to the point they were running out of the building?”

Christopher Avila, charged with disruption of religious service: “In the aspect of bringing terror to the human heart, no, I wish not to do that.”

Brighton Police say Avila came to Temple B’rith Kodesh on September 15th, the first night of Rosh Hashana. They say he interrupted the service as soon as it began.

“I’ve watched the video,” said Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi. “Seeing the reaction of the congregants it was really alarming.”

Avila: “I didn’t come to terrorize anyone. Even when I noticed they ran out the door I quickly said, ‘I’m not here to harm anyone.'”

Brean: “But people were scared.”

Avila: “Indeed but…”

Brean: “Do you feel bad about that?”

Avila: “I can’t.”

Avila was officially charged last Monday and given an order of protection to stay away from Temple B’rith Kodesh. Brighton Town Judge John Falk reminded him of the order.

“Yes your honor,” Avila replied.

I asked Avila why he didn’t just stand on the sidewalk and preach. He told me scripture directed him inside.

Brean: “Of all the temples in the area, why Temple B’rith Kodesh?”

Avila: “Cause, He told me to go there. I know it sounds crazy but you either believe God or you don’t.”

Brean: “So you felt like you got a message to go there.”

Avila: “Well yes. Otherwise do you really believe your God?”

The attorney from the public defender’s office requested an evaluation of Mr. Avila. The judge set the next court date for October.