Pastor offers forgiveness to suspects accused in brutal attack

Pastor offers forgiveness to suspects accused in brutal attack

PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh pastor who said he was the victim of a racially motivated attack is offering forgiveness to the three people accused.

Channel 11’s Courtney Brennan first reported about Pastor Reginald Myers on Monday.

Myers told Brennan the alleged attack happened Friday outside of his home after he heard a woman crying for help.  He said he told three men to leave the woman alone and then they jumped him.

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“They came up on my back and were trying to choke me out.  Then they said, ‘I’m going to cut your throat,’” said Myers.

The 65-year-old pastor said they called him racial slurs while they punched and kicked him.  One of the men had a knife, he said.

“When he said, ‘Tonight you’re going to die,’ all I heard was my sister’s voice.  She said, ‘Not tonight,’” said Myers.

His sister, who lives next door, broke up the fight.

“My sister saved my life,” the pastor told his congregation in church Sunday.

Three people have been charged in the beating. Gerard Rupert, Robert Noftz and Kaela Rupert are facing aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation charges.

On Tuesday, Myers told Channel 11’s Renee Kaminski that he can’t hate his alleged attackers.

“It’s hard not to feel gratitude and invigoration because I’m still alive,” Myers said.

Myers said he plans on using his faith to rally a community fed up with hate.

“There will be persistence not to fight with hands, but learn how to use the power of prayer and the power of God for peace,” Myers said.

Myers said he’s working with his own family, as well as his church family to hold a peace rally.