The witness recorded him assaulting the young boy before confronting him.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of molestation that may be disturbing to readers.
On September 22, 2021, 33-year-old Michael Coghill was out on a run, and he went past a bunch of kids who were waiting for their bus in southwest Oklahoma City, per The Oklahoman. However, he was caught on camera touching a nine-year-old boy at the bus stop, according to News9. A witness who saw this confronted the man—who is the discipleship minister at Lakehoma Church of Christ in Mustang—and it led to an altercation between them.
The witness told the reporting officer that a child had indicated there was a jogger who had been coming to the bus stop and touching youths as they waited for the school bus. He told the police the child said the "the guy had touched him on the back and he doesn't like the way it made him feel."
The witness —assumed to be the child's father, but it's not been confirmed by the police due to the Open Records Act— parked his car near the bus stop and waiting for Coghill to arrive. He says he saw the pastor jog by an empty bus stop once, and then come back to jog past it again, when the children had arrived.
“While he was watching the school bus stop, our suspect ran by him, ran past the bus stop where the children were waiting. Turned around, came back, and stopped where he touched the child,” Sgt. Dillon Quirk with the Oklahoma City Police Department said.
The man started recording when he saw Coghill slow done, before coming to a complete halt. He then started inappropriately touching one of the children there. Coghill was first seen placing his hand on the child’s side before he moved his hand to the backside of the boy.
Pastor Michael Coghill, 33 had been inappropriately touching a 9-year-old boy.— B1SanDiego (@B1SanDiego1) September 24, 2021
The boy's father watched Coghill jog by several times and touched his son.
The dad then tackled and beat the 💩 out of him.#FirstThem 👉🏿 #metoo #weasourselves 🤐 #silenceisviolence 🤬 #anopensecret pic.twitter.com/Hilj9w3Wxm
Since he'd caught everything on camera, he got out of the car to confront Coghill but tried to run. The witness then physically restrained him until police arrived. An altercation occurred between the two men and Coghill was ultimately forced to the ground by his accuser, according to the police report. Coghill's skull was fractured and his orbital socket cracked on the left side of his face.
He is now being held in Oklahoma County Detention Center on a count of lewd acts to a child., per Fox News. The police are now encouraging people with more information to open up. “If we have more victims, we encourage them if they know something, say something. Come forward,” Quirk said.
Lisa Ward, whose daughters wait at the same bus stop as the 9-year-old boy, says this is completely unbelievable. “There’s hardly any words that are camera appropriate,” Ward said. “It’s just sickening.”
Good job by the witness to actually step in and stop this guy.— Smith (@dsmith3633) September 23, 2021
“I just thought he was a runner in the neighborhood,” Ward said. “He knew the time he would be there every day,” Ward added. “That was the hardest part, the most disgusting part.”
Meanwhile, the Lakehoma Church of Christ released a statement, condemning the incident. "We were heartbroken to learn of the incident involving one of our adult ministers, and our hearts go out to the child and family involved. We were shocked at this news as he had a clean background check, and we have received no reports or claims against him during his tenure. Church leadership has no tolerance for any type of abuse and is meeting tonight to discuss next steps. We will cooperate with authorities as needed," the statement said,
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Oklahoma City Police Department