Plain City man denies guilt in fight over church seating

Oct 2 2013 - 6:24pm

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Wayne Dodge
Wayne Dodge

OGDEN -- A Plain City man pleaded innocent Wednesday to charges filed after police said he slugged a man and later hit him with his vehicle in a dispute that started with an argument over church seating.

After Wednesday's hearing in 2nd District Court, Wayne Dodge said he also was assaulted and his alleged victim also deserved charges.

Officers were called to the Meadows ward building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints near 2300 North and 3600 West in Plain City on June 30. The incident started during a packed meeting that included a baby blessing as well as a missionary farewell.

Police said one party had reserved some seats in the chapel so they could be near the baby blessing. Reports indicated that the suspect, Wayne Dodge, sat in the seating that had been reserved. Words were exchanged.

Following the meeting, more words were exchanged between the suspect and a male member of the family. Reports indicated that following an argument, the suspect hit the victim in the face. The victim went into the church to clean blood off his face, while the suspect went to his vehicle.

After the victim left the building, there was another confrontation between the two men. In that encounter, police said, the victim was hit by the suspect's vehicle and ended up on the hood.

Witnesses restrained Dodge and, when deputies arrived, he was in the bishop's office. He was later booked into Weber County Jail.

Dodge, 52, told reporters outside court Wednesday that he suffered a broken nose during the tussle.

"Certainly there are two sides to every story. They definitely should have charged the other side," said Dodge's attorney, Tony Miles. "My client definitely was hit. He was assaulted."

Dodge also disagreed with the depiction of him being restrained in the bishop's office. "They took me in there for my own safety."

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at (801)625-4238, tgurrister@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister.

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