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Friday, August 10, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor arrested for assault

A San Antonio pastor and an employee of his Christian boot camp were arrested today on aggravated assault charges, accusing them of dragging a girl behind a van after failing to keep up with others during a running exercise.

Investigators with the Nueces County Sheriff's Office arrested Charles E. Flowers shortly before noon at the Faith Outreach Center in northwest San Antonio, said Brad E. Bailey, a spokesman for the Schertz Police Department.

The department assisted Nueces County authorities in the arrests because some of the camp's training exercises occur in Schertz.

Bailey said boot camp trainer Stephanie Bassitt was arrested later in Kirby.

Authorities said both boot camp officials restrained a girl June 12, tying her to the back of the truck before dragging her on her stomach at the Love Demonstrated Ministries boot camp in Banquete, about 10 miles west of Corpus Christi.

The 15-year-old girl's mother complained to authorities about the incident after taking her daughter to get treated for scrapes and bruises.

Flowers is the self-proclaimed "commandant" of the boot camp, which he operates with his wife, Janice.

He declined to comment on the allegations Friday, evading reporters outside the offices of the Faith Outreach Center.

Other officials at the Faith Outreach Center couldn’t immediately be reached for comment this afternoon.