Video shows Mormon missionary fight off armed man, LDS church responds

ST. GEORGE — A dramatic video has surfaced showing a Mormon missionary from the United States disarming a would-be robber and pummeling another in the streets of Brazil over the weekend. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints subsequently released a statement Wednesday stating that the missionary reacted “in the moment” to protect himself and his companion.

After the would-be robbers are outmatched by the missionary and the apparent robbery fails, the assailants are shown in the video running away on foot, leaving behind their motorcycle.

“We are grateful that this incident did not end tragically, either for the missionaries or the other individuals involved,” Eric Hawkins, LDS church spokesman, said in a statement.

A surveillance video captured the incident Saturday, showing a motorcycle carrying two men roll up on two missionaries serving in the church’s Brazil Manaus Mission, along with two bystanders as they are standing on a sidewalk.

The video, posted on Facebook Monday, then shows one man jump off the motorcycle, confront the four individuals and pull out a gun.

One of the missionaries disarms the assailant, who soon flees the scene.

When the second assailant tries to get the gun back, the missionary holds him off before throwing the gun over a fence.

As the missionary and the second assailant begin trading punches, the assailant proves to be no match for the missionary, who unleashes a flurry of jabs and kicks until the assailant ultimately runs away.

Hawkins said missionaries are counseled not to resist when confronted by thieves but noted that exceptions may exist.

“The guidance given to missionaries is to avoid conflict,” Hawkins said. “Every situation is unique, and as adults, missionaries must make decisions about their safety. In this case, the assailant had a weapon and the missionary reacted in the moment to protect his life and that of his companion.”

They two missionaries were transferred to a different location in Brazil, the church said, and are not facing any disciplinary action. The church has not released their names.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • comments March 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    It’s actually a very common form of robbery in brazil–guys with guns cruising around on scooters looking for people to rob. Really, how much in valuables do LDS missionaries carry? Best bet is too just hand over what u got and avoid certain areas, obviously. But they can come home with a story about how The Lord saved their lives.

  • comments March 16, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I wonder if their mission headquarters (or base? or whatever its called) warned them about the dangers of robberies and crime there.

    • Have3bratz March 17, 2017 at 12:36 am

      Probably but not to the extent of which you described… They fees on the tourist and missionaries or no exception obviously!!! I personally would have kept the gun, incase it ever happened again… Lol

      • comments March 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        Guy should feel grateful just to be alive. I’d get the hell out of brazil if it were me tho.

  • Kimi March 17, 2017 at 7:57 am

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. But it only 8am

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