Man charged with assault in church fight appears in court

Posted at 12:23 PM, Oct 02, 2013

OGDEN, Utah -- A man facing assault charges in connection with a brawl at a church in Plain City appeared in court Wednesday morning.

Wayne Dodge was arrested in July after authorities said an argument over “seat saving” in the pews of a chapel owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints escalated to a fistfight in the parking lot and another man being hit by a car.

Deputies said it began with an argument before sacrament services over “seat saving.” The bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Meadows Ward told FOX 13 it was an unusually packed meeting — more than 400 people were in attendance for a missionary’s farewell and a baby blessing.

“There was some seats that were allegedly saved, and there was a disagreement over whether they were saved or not and an individual sitting there,” Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Lowther told FOX 13. “This continued to escalate throughout the day.”

The argument continued outside to the parking lot, Lowther said, where punches were thrown. One man went inside to clean himself up and returned and was then struck by a car, Lowther told FOX 13.

On Wednesday, Dodge and his attorney, Tony Miles, spoke exclusively to FOX 13 News about the incident.

"It seemed to me like, you know, Mr. Dodge cooperated from the get-go. It appeared to us that no charges were going to be filed on either side, but once they were filed against Mr. Dodge, it seemed like, you know, they should be filed against both sides," Miles said.

Dodge and Miles say there are several unanswered questions in the case. They said Dodge's nose was broken in the incident, but no one else was charged in connection with the case.

Dodge is expected to plead not guilty in his next court appearance, scheduled for October 16.

Watch FOX 13 News and for updates.