Arrest Warrant Issued For Employee Of Tony Alamo Ministries

4029 TV News, Arkansas/October 23, 2008

John Erwin Kolbeck, of Fort Smith, is wanted on charges of beating a young man who once belonged to evangelist Tony Alamo's Ministry.

According to a police report, Seth Calagna was beaten while working at a salvage warehouse in Fort Smith earlier this year.

Calagna told police the beating happened after he made a sarcastic remark after being told that he resembled the fictional wizard character Harry Potter.

According to the report, Kolbeck confronted Calagna and accused him of trying to run away. When Calagna denied the allegation, Kolbeck called him a liar.

The report states, "Kolbeck then began slapping him in the face with an open hand. Seth said he was hit at least 10 times."

According to the report, Calagna was moved to another room in the warehouse, where the beating continued.

"Kolbeck had him stretch out on the floor on his belly. He said his chin hit the floor and it split open. Kolbeck then began to strike him numerous times with a board," the report stated.

Investigators took pictures of bruises on Calagna's body.

Calagna is no longer a member of Alamo's church, but he told authorities that his parents and sister are still followers and live on the compound.

According to the report, Calagna will be going to live with relatives in another state.

Fort Smith police said Kolbeck's last-known address was in Fort Smith, but he hasn't been seen since the September raid on Alamo's Ministry headquarters in Fouke, Ark.

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