REPENT v. To sorrow or be pained for sin, as a violation of God's holy law, a dishonor to his character and government, and the foulest ingratitude to a Being of infinite benevolence.

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MEDIA, PA -- Michael Marcavage of the Philadelphia-based Repent America was found "Not Guilty" on November 12 of Disorderly Conduct by Judge William R. Toal, Jr. in the Court of Common Pleas Delaware County. The Judge dismissed the case because the officer decided not to testify by disappearing from the courtroom before the case was heard.

On June 8, 2003, Marcavage was preaching outside of the Upper Darby High School during an after-prom party while standing on the public sidewalk. While preaching, he was approached by two officers and told to stop immediately. Shortly thereafter, Sgt. L. M. Garble pulled up in a squad car and ordered Marcavage to cross the street. Marcavage explained that he was on a public sidewalk sharing with the students from the Bible, and that they would not be able to hear him if he moved across the four-lane highway. He then offered to move to another part of the sidewalk, but Sgt. Garble refused and threatened arrest. When Marcavage asked Sgt. Garble what he would be charged with if he was arrested, the officer replied after a long pause, "we'll find something". Marcavage was then subsequently arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct.

Before the initial hearing before District Justice Ann Berardocco, the arresting officer, Sgt. Garble, questioned Marcavage's attorney Len Brown on whether or not a federal lawsuit would be filed. When it came time for the case to be heard in the Court of Common Pleas, Sgt. Garble disappeared from the courtroom as the District Attorney told Attorney Brown that he "does not have a vested interest in seeing him [Michael Marcavage] prosecuted".

"While I am thankful for the outcome dismissing the charges against Michael, it is disturbing to see the trend towards arresting individuals on public property who are engaging in protected speech and then dragging these people through two court appearances before agreeing that their actions were constitutionally protected," stated Attorney Brown who represented Marcavage. "We hope that the Upper Darby Police Department will uphold and protect Mr. Marcavage's right to speak in the future."

"I believe that this arrest brought conviction to the officer," said Marcavage. "I will not forget the kind words Sgt. Garble expressed after releasing me from the jail cell, calling what I do admirable. It is my prayer that he would come to know the Savior."

"But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us." Psalm 44:7

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

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