Pastor attacked and beaten on church property

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A Coweta County pastor is thankful to be alive after he says he was attacked when confronting a man on the church's property.

“The gentleman grabbed me by my jacket lapel and headbutted me with everything he had,” says Pastor Tamarkus Cook. “I personally believe had I passed out and become unconscious he may have killed me.”

St. Smyrna Baptist Church bought the old, vacant house two years ago. It sits next to the church.

“We've had several instances here at this property since we've acquired it," Cook said. "Initially, it started off with people breaking into the property taking out whatever they could salvage.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Cook says he spotted a truck in the driveway. He told Coweta County deputies that when he confronted the man, the man asked, “Who do you think you are? Security?" Shortly after the exchange, the attack happened. Cook then pulled his gun and fired several shots into the air. He says the man jumped in the truck and drove away.

Cook was treated at Piedmont Newnan Hospital for a large laceration under and above his right eye. His injuries needed additional medical attention, so he was admitted to Grady Hospital.

As for the man, the pastor hopes the man turns himself into deputies.

“Turning himself into face responsibility for such a cowardly act would really speak volumes of his own character,” says Cook. “Perhaps he had a moment of misjudgment. Perhaps he was under the influence of drugs and made a decision he would regret.”