Newnan pastor needed 13 stitches after being headbutted by church property trespasser

A Coweta County pastor was driving on Henry Road on Wednesday when he saw a man squatting near a building his church owned.

A confrontation, headbutt to the eye and a few gunshots later, the pastor is mending his wounds and his alleged attacker is on the run from authorities.

Tamarkus Cook, 31, is the pastor at St. Smyrna Baptist Church in Newnan, and he suffered a cut under and above his right eye when the man headbutted him, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office said in an incident report.

Cook told Channel 2 Action News he required 13 stitches around his eye, broke his nose and suffered several other facial fractures from the encounter. He also has to wear a patch while his eye heals.

"He chose to charge at me like some football lineman head-first into my face,” Cook said. “I think he was attempting to kill me.”

Cook told a deputy the church owned the property in the 100 block of Henry Road, and when he tried to confront the trespasser, the report said the man asked, “Who do you think you are? Security?”

Cook responded, “Yes, I am,” and that’s when the man got angry and charged him, the report said.

He headbutted Cook in the eye, prompting Cook to pull out his Tarus .380 handgun and fire two or three rounds in the air to attempt to scare him off, the report said. The deputy found one spent shell casing on the road that matched Cook’s handgun, the report said.

It worked, and the man drove away in a newer-model gray Ford F-150 that possibly had a North Dakota or South Dakota license plate, the pastor said in the report.

The man accused of attacking Cook was approximately 6-foot-3, about 300 pounds and had a large, dark brown beard, the report said.

Cook was taken to Piedmont Newnan Hospital after speaking to the deputy, the report said.

He told Channel 2 the church has had an issue with people trespassing on the property since they bought it last year, and it’ll likely be demolished and turned into extra parking for the church.

An investigation is ongoing.

In other news:

Erron Brown is accused of wounding two. Police shot and killed another man they later learned was not involved.