Fight over saved church seats lands man in jail

Seats at a premium at packed Mormon church service in Utah

POSTED: 9:29 AM Jul 03 2013   UPDATED: 6:48 PM Jul 03 2013
Church pews

A Utah man was arrested after police said an argument over "seat saving" in the pews escalated to a fight in the parking lot and another man being hit by a car.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Meadows Ward in Plain City was unusually packed this past Sunday. More than 400 people were in attendance for a missionary's farewell and a baby blessing, Salt Lake City TV station KSTU reported.

Seats were at a premium, and an argument erupted over whether a handful of seats had been saved and whether someone was sitting there.

The disagreement spilled into the church parking lot, where police said punches were thrown.

One man went inside to clean himself up and was then hit by a car, Weber County sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther told KSTU.

"He ended up on the hood of the car," Lowther said. "We did an investigation, there was conflicting stories (between the two men), but according to witness accounts there was enough probable cause to make an arrest for aggravated assault."

Wayne Dodge, 51, was booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct. Jail records show Dodge posted bail and was released a short time later.

The victim in the incident was not hospitalized, police told KSTU.