A 17-year-old faces charges after allegedly cutting his stepfather in the neck following services Sunday at a Cumming church.
According to Cumming Police Sgt. Bryan Zimbardi, Christian Alexander Guerndt was charged with aggravated assault following the incident with his stepfather, Ronnie Rapert, at Mercy Fellowship Church.
Bond has been set at $11,100. As of Tuesday morning, Guerndt was still in custody at the Forsyth County jail.
“There was an argument between the stepdad and [Guerndt] at the church,” Zimbardi said. “The stepson got upset and caused a little bit of damage to the inside of the church building.
“The stepdad confronted him and they had an argument in the parking lot that made its way inside at one point the son cut the left side of [the father’s] neck.” Authorities say Guerndt used a folding pocket knife.
Zimbardi said the injuries to Rapert’s neck appear to be relatively minor, though the man was taken to North Fulton Hospital for an unrelated issue.
“He was having some difficulty breathing that he said was not related to the cut on his neck,” Zimbardi said. “It was 1 inch long and very small and a very shallow laceration.”
According to Zimbardi, Guerndt stated he wasn’t trying to seriously injured Rapert.
Prior to the incident, the teenager damaged a couple of folding chairs at the church, authorities said.
“It sounds like he got upset and either stepped on or threw the chairs,” Zimbardi said. “Everyone had a different version of what happened.”
Zimbardi said the church isn’t pressing charges for the damage.
According to authorities, the incident took place between services and family members were the only ones who witnessed the event.