Church member and pastor speak out on arrest of Largo puppeteer | News
LARGO, Florida - A Largo man reacted to the recent arrest of a man he trusted with his children.
"Gut-wrenching. Sickening. Shock," said the father of six.
The man, who doesn't want to be identified, is a member of Gulf Coast Church in Largo. It's the church where Ronald Brown volunteered for years in the children's ministry.
Brown was arrested for child pornography and conspiring to kidnap a child. According to federal investigators, the 57-year-old had a graphic online chat about kidnapping, sexually abusing, murdering, and eating children.
"It is so scary thinking that our children were that far from us and not knowing then what we know now," added the father.
Gulf Coast Pastor Randy Morris described Brown as quiet and unassuming.
"Obviously very shocked and sick to my stomach over the allegations. And disappointed," said Pastor Morris.
He said Brown volunteered for at least 15 years, working with the puppet ministry and driving a van to pick up children for church. The pastor added from what he knows, Brown was never alone at the church with any child at any time.
Investigators said Brown discussed online killing and eating a boy he knows from church. According to Pastor Morris, he has spoken to that child's parents. "They are reeling emotionally. Obviously not from necessarily what has happened, but for what might have happened to their child," he said.
Meanwhile, the father says he's thrown out all the toys and prizes his children got from the church's Kid Zone ministry.
"It's good for us. This is how we decided to deal with it. For us to start recovering. Our healing process," said the father.
Pastor Morris added that in time he will do his best to extend forgiveness towards Brown. But right now, it's just all too fresh.