HAMMOND – Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man trying to flee after he allegedly broke into a church.

On August 19 around 2 a.m. deputies responded to an activated burglary alarm at the New Beulah Baptist Church on Baptist Road in Hammond. While approaching the scene, deputies saw a white Chrysler mini-van leaving the church’s parking lot at a high rate of speed. Deputies initiated a traffic stop on the van and while approaching it, deputies saw the driver, 51-year-old Kurt Lawson, bleeding from his head and arm, according to the sheriff’s office.

The driver was ordered to get out of the van where he was detained while deputies investigated the scene. The investigation revealed that one of the church’s windows was shattered and fresh drops of blood were at the location.

As a result, Lawson was taken to parish jail where he was booked on one count of reckless operation of a vehicle and burglary of a religious building. According to the sheriff’s office, no items are believed to have been taken from the church.

The sheriff’s office says evidence collected at the scene will be processed by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for further investigation.