Colo. Pastor Charged for Robbing, Kidnapping Gay Man
A pastor from Colorado Springs, Colo., has been accused of meeting gay men online in order to attack and rob them all while he allegedly posed as a U.S. marshal, Denver's CBS 4 reports.
Rev. Michael Abromovich was arrested last month and charged with posing as a U.S. marshal in order to intimidate and rob gay men who thought they were meeting Abromovich for a hook up.
Abromovich's friends say the pastor's life changed after he was diagnosed with cancer and when a new baby came into his family.
"He showed us that we couldn't trust him anymore by the way he was acting, the things he was doing," Pastor Robert Murphy, who preached with Abromovich at the Colorado Springs ministry, which reaches out to alcoholics, drug users and the homeless, told CBS Denver.
Nevertheless, Murphy is still confused by his second life.
"God has saved him because he put him in jail ... but he has to pay for what he has done," he said.
An unidentified man said he sent pictures with someone named "Mike" via Craigslist and agreed to meet him at a motel in Denver. He said when he arrived, "Mike" jumped from his car and yelled, "U.S. marshals...threw him against the door, and then handcuffed and searched him."
The man told the police "Mike" forced him into a room where he was held at gunpoint by a paintball gun.
According to a police affidavit, "Mike told him that he was looking for evidence." "Mike" then took the man's laptop, iPad, iPhone, cash, debit card and his car keys.
"Mike then told him they were taking his computers and phone to be sent to the lab to look for evidence," the report says. The victim also told authorities that "Mike" posed as a marshal and told him he would come by the man's home the next morning "to discuss the case with him and impound his vehicle at that time."
Denver police found that Abromovich called the motel ahead of time "and identified himself as law enforcement to the clerk...and that he had a badge." The authorities then issued a nationwide warrant for Abromovich for aggravated robbery, kidnapping, and impersonality law enforcement. All charges are felonies.
Abromovich was pulled over in Phoenix, Ariz., on Dec. 20 for a traffic violation. Police say he tried to show them a badge but officers discovered the pastor had a warrant and arrested him.
According to Denver District Attorney's Office Abromovich was extradited back to Denver on Jan. 24 and appeared in court on Tuesday.
"While this is the only case identified at this point, the possibility is there this is not the first time this occurred," Lynn Kimbrough, a spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's Office, told Denver CBS 4. "As far as I know he does not have any legitimate law enforcement credentials."
Kimbrough added that officers are currently investigating the incident and police say it's possible there are other victims.