Creflo Dollar Denies Choking Daughter

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Megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar staunchly denied accusations Sunday that he punched and choked his 15-year-old daughter in an argument.

Behind the pulpit, Dollar told his 30,000-member strong congregation of World Changers Church in Atlanta that the allegations made in a police report were nothing but "exaggeration and sensationalism."

"I will say this emphatically: I should have never been arrested," Dollar said in his first public appearance since Friday's arrest.

The pastor got an enthusiastic ovation from the packed church.

"I want you to hear it personally from me: All is well in the Dollar household," he added. "A family conversation with our youngest daughter got emotional. Things escalated from there."

Dollar, 50, was arrested early Friday on a battery charge for allegedly choking his teenage daughter. He was freed on a $5,000 bond but faces misdemeanor charges of simple battery and cruelty to children.

According to MyFoxAtlanta.com, the arrest warrant charged that Dollar "intentionally caused physical harm to his teenage daughter by grabbing her around the neck and choking her."

Police arrived at Dollar's home about 1 a.m. Friday after the teen called 911.

The 15-year-old told authorities her father choked and punched her, and hit her with his shoe during an argument over whether she could go to a party, according to a police report.

She said she went into the kitchen with her older sister. When her father asked why she was crying, she told him, "I do not want to talk right now."  That is when she said he charged at her. 

The deputy noted a scratch on the teen's neck.  Sheriff's office spokesman Brent Rowan said the 15-year-old sustained "superficial injuries."

Dollar's 19-year-old daughter corroborated most of her sister's story, but Dollar disputed it, telling a sheriff's deputy he was trying to restrain her when she became disrespectful.

Dollar told the deputy he wouldn't let his daughter go to the party because of poor grades.

When she began to hit back, he wrestled her to the floor and spanked her, according to the police report.

"I just love my kid. Love 'em," the megachurch pastor told a WSB-TV reporter as he exited jail later Friday morning.

"Same problem every parent's going through?' the reporter asked.

"Yeah," Dollar responded in a somber voice. He declined to say something to his congregation at that time.

Last summer, Dollar made headlines when he came to the defense of fellow Atlanta-area megachurch pastor Eddie Long. Long had been embroiled in several legal battles over accusations of sexual misconduct and misleading members on financial investments.

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