California youth pastor Matthew Snatchko witnessed his faith to a few accepting women, but when a store employee overheard the conversation, he was hauled off to jail.
-- From "Man Sues California Mall After Guard Arrests Him for Having Conversation About God" by Diane Macedo, FOX News 2/10/10
"He was put in handcuffs and hauled down to the mall’s security station and later booked at the local jail," said Snatchko’s attorney Matthew McReynolds of the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom.
Snatchko was later released and never charged with a crime, but he and the Justice Institute decided to challenge the constitutionality of Roseville Galleria's restrictions on conversations about topics such as religion and politics.
"He wanted to make sure that neither he nor anybody else got harassed again at this mall or the 55 other malls this company owns throughout the United States," said McReynolds.
In 2008, a California superior court ruled that the mall's ban on controversial conversations with strangers didn’t violate freedom of speech.
But late last month Snatchko and the Justice Institute appealed to the state’s 3rd Appellate District in Sacramento. All parties in the case are now waiting for the court to schedule a date for oral arguments or issue a ruling.
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