The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
Timothy “Tim” Rude, pastor emeritus at Walnut Creek Church in Windsor Heights, Iowa, stands accused of criminal mischief. Walnut Creek is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
In what can only be described as a “bizarre” story, KCCI-8 reports:
A metro church leader is charged with criminal mischief after allegedly driving his son and his son’s friends around Des Moines as they pounded down people’s front doors.
Pastor Timothy Rude was the founder of the Walnut Creek Church in Windsor back in 1987. Now, he’s charged in a series of bizarre crimes.
“It was about 10:30 at night. We were watching TV and suddenly heard a kicking and a bang on our door,” Craig Hurd of Des Moines said.
Hurd and his wife got the scare of their lives last month. A group of kids kicked in their front screen door, broke the glass and damaged the wood entry door. Later, they returned to the house and threw rocks at the window. The Hurds chased down the getaway car and got the plate number. That led police to Timothy Rude, Pastor Emeritus at Walnut Creek Church. He’s now charged with several counts of criminal mischief.
“It sounds like it’s connected to some ridiculous TikTok challenge and he was actually driving his kid and some other kids around as they did this,” Des Moines Police Sgt. Parizek said.
The TikTok videos show kids kicking doors to match the music of the Kesha song “Die Young.” It’s called the “heartbeat challenge.”
Police say it got out of hand in this case. They say Rude admitted he drove his son around the west side 24 times during four nights last month. Damage at the Hurd home, and an apartment building on Kingman Boulevard, along with other homes adds up to thousands of dollars.
“I think that’s the one thing that none of us have an answer for. We are all shaking our heads because parents we are supposed to be giving our kids guidance and pointing them in the right direction. Not necessarily driving the getaway vehicle while they’re committing crimes,” Parizek said.
The Walnut Creek Church released a statement that says Rude suffered a brain aneurysm in 2016 and that he moved to emeritus status. Earlier this month, he resigned after the church was notified of his criminal charges. Victims of the heartbeat challenge say it’s not just fun and games.
“Doing that in the middle of the night is not the best. And especially in a country that has weapons readily available that never going to end safely for someone right?” Hurd said.
Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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