Former Packers DE reportedly harassed church pastor prior to friends' arrest for bringing guns to Christmas pageant

Cassandra Negley
Green bay Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila takes a drink of water during a break in the action at training camp Tuesday, July 29, 2003, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Former Green bay Packers defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila reportedly harassed a pastor at his children's private school. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

A former Green Bay Packers defensive end who spent his entire nine-year career there was reportedly under watch by police prior to an incident two weeks ago at his children’s Christmas pageant, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported Friday.

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was nearly arrested and his two friends were arrested during an incident at Assembly of God Church in Green Bay on Dec. 17 during a Christmas pageant put on by the private Providence Academy. Jordan Salmi and Ryan Desmith attended the pageant and triggered a trespassing complaint since they do not have children at the school. When they were arrested, they reportedly had concealed weapons on them without permits.

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Gbaja-Biamila reportedly left when asked and was not arrested.

More details emerged from a criminal complaint filed late last week and reported on by the Gazette that allege the three men are part of a cult called led by Gbaja-Biamila.

Gbaja-Biamila reportedly harassed pastor

Prior to the incident, police were reportedly already keeping an eye on the church and school to watch out for Gbaja-Biamila, per the Gazette. Police said he had made YouTube videos with threatening messages to the academy and headmaster Ron Jung.

The former 6-4, 250-pound defensive end has two children at the school, but does not approve of them being there nor participating and therefore, he said, committing sin in what he called a “pagan event.” In both a YouTube video after the incident and detailed in the criminal complaint, Gbaja-Biamila said they weren’t his children, but rather his “property” and he wanted to leave the church with them.

When the two men arrived at the church, Jung reported the men since he knew them to be associates of Gbaja-Biamila, per the report. He told police, per the complaint, the man “and his followers are very big into concealed carry and are usually concealing weapons on their person.”

The two men refused to leave and were arrested for trespassing. Police then reportedly found concealed weapons they did not have permits for. In the complaint, police said it included semi-automatic pistols with loaded magazines totaling 34 rounds of ammo.

Providence Academy closed for two days, starting Christmas break early out of “fear that Kabeer was going to retaliate either at Providence Academy or the pastor,” per the complaint.

Gbaja-Biamila ‘leader of cult,’ police say

Police met with Gbaja-Biamila while escorting the two men outside of the church and identified him as “the leader of the cult,” per the report. He is a member of the Straitway Truth Ministry, which identifies itself as a Hebrew Israelite or Black Hebrew Group.

The groups are labeled as hate groups and made headlines days prior when the suspect in a deadly attack on a Hasidic neighborhood in Jersey City was reportedly linked to the movement. It teaches that people of color are the true children of God and dates back to the 19th century, though there is rising extremism in the ranks, per the SPLC.

Gbaja-Biamila is second on the Packers’ all-time sack list with 74.5 over nine seasons with the team (2000-08) and was inducted to the Packers Hall of Fame in 2013. He had four straight seasons of double-digit sacks and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2003.

He is not arrested nor charged in the incident.

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