Philly Jesus, whose real name is Michael Grant, was arrested on May 2 after he refused to leave an Apple Store in Philadelphia. He was released on May 3, and said that he was being discriminated against because of his religious faith (video below).
According to police, Grant was asked by an Apple employee to remove his wooden cross because it was blocking an aisle, but he refused; he was asked to leave the store three times, but refused each time, notes WCAU.
The store manager called the police, and Grant was charged with defiant trespassing and disorderly conduct.
After spending the night in jail, Grant tweeted: "i AM FREE!!!!! i'M FREE AT LAST!! THANK GOD ALMiGHTY!!! i AM FREE AT LAST!!!! BLESS UP."
Grant told the news station via his iPhone:
This country was built on freedom of religion and I can go into a public place and be dressed as whoever I want and express myself however I want.
The same way an African-American human being in the 1960s would be singled out in a white only store and asked to leave, I "Philly Jesus" was singled out in the Apple Store because of my visual faith I portray, dressing up like Jesus holding my cross.
An Apple employee, who was offended by my appearance and by my cross, asked me to leave because of who I am and what I represent, because of my faith.
Nearly every day I go into the Apple Store to charge my phone on their 15 minute-use limit computer open to the public. Never once have I had a problem there over two years. After being in there for only a minute an employee asked me to leave because of who I am and me carrying my cross. I told him, "no." I know my rights. I am allowed to use the laptops and charge my phone like everyone else there who was next to me doing so -- so me standing my ground, he brought the cops over and I told the cops the same thing: I am allowed to be here like anyone else on their 15 minute-use products to charge my phone and use their laptops. Then they locked me up, then I raised my voice freedom of religion!
Grant said he was fed a cheese sandwich and a bottle of water in jail, and added, "But I changed 'em into wine."
Grant, who stated that he "prays for my haters," is due in court on May 17.
The former heroin addict evangelizes people in a public park with his "Philly Jesus Ministry," which includes baptizing people in a park fountain.