10/23/08 – John Kolbeck: Wanted for second degree battery and could be on the run (PHOTO)

October 23, 2008

Police say teen severely beaten by Tony Alamo follower in Fort Smith

John Kolbeck

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FORT SMITH – Man police say was evangelist Tony Alamo’s disciplinarian is now wanted in Fort Smith for the alleged beating of a church teen. A felony warrant for second degree battery has now been issued for 49-year-old John Erwin Kolbeck. Authorities believe he may now be on the run. Kolbeck has not been seen since the raid on Alamo ministries’ compound in Fouke, Arkansas. He reportedly worked for the ministry.

Read pages from the police incident report.

“The info we developed through the investigation leads us to believe that Kolbeck was a disciplinarian for Tony Alamo. He was closely related [associated] with Tony Alamo and he would receive order from Alamo to carry out,” Sgt. Levi Risley with the Fort Smith Police Department told 5NEWS.

The victim was 17 at the time the alleged assault occurred sometime between January and February of this year at a warehouse in 4th Street owned by the church. Police say the teen was severely beaten; struck by a 2X6 board about 20 times. The teen told an investigating officer that he had lived at the Tony Alamo Foundation in Fouke with his parents until recently.

According to the victim, someone had made a comment that he looked like Harry Potter. He told police that he made a sarcastic remark in return and it was written up and reported to Tony Alamo.

The victim says he was slapped about ten times before being forced to the floor, busting his chin open. The 17-year-old says he was made to stretch out on the floor and the beating began. At one point Kolbeck allegedly had his pants pulled down because he thought they were interfering with the punishment. The teen was reportedly stripped down to his underwear. The beating ended when the board broke.

Police say the beating left him bloodied with deep bruises and lacerations to his buttocks. According to the report, bruising is still visible seven to eight months after the incident. The teen told police that he had been beaten once before in Fouke and that incident was ten times worse. The victim says his father was beaten just the day before, taking the punishment over being excommunicated from the church.

The allegations surfaced as part of an FBI investigation. Agents told Fort Smith Police that the victim was hesitant to speak with them at first, saying that he had been taught that law enforcement was evil and he was afraid that he was in trouble for something.

Meanwhile, the church’s leader, Tony Alamo is in federal custody in Texarkana. He’s faces federal charges for allegedly transporting underage girls across state lines for sex.

In: 2008 - (Trial year)

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