Gustav Potthoff has a cross to bear: He’s a self-proclaimed atheist accused of attacking his roommate whom he thought was Jesus.
As such, he believes that only an atheist attorney can defend him properly.
Police in Orlando, Fla. allege that Potthoff attacked his roommate, Raymond Hernandez, with a glass cup and a butter knife on Monday.
According to the police report, Hernandez said he went to the kitchen to get a drink when Potthoff suddenly threw the glass cup at him.
When the cup missed Hernandez, Potthoff allegedly attacked him with a butter knife.
Hernandez avoided injury both times. He told investigators that Potthoff told him he thought Hernandez was Jesus and wanted to kill him, according to the police report.
Potthoff, 51, was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The suspect did not mention Jesus when he told police his side of the story, but changed his story numerous times, according to the police report.
First, he said he was in the kitchen when the glass broke. Then he said he was in his bedroom and finally outside.
Officers found a broken glass cup and a butter knife on the living room floor, which were collected as evidence.
Potthoff was taken to the Orange County Jail where he remains.
But his belief in non-belief came to the forefront during an encounter with a judge on Tuesday.
Potthoff demanded that he be assigned a public defender who is also an atheist.
“It’s just my human rights and everything else,” Potthoff told the court, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m allowed to be with someone of my own kind.”
The judge told Potthoff, who is reportedly indigent, that if he wanted an atheist attorney, it would be on his own dime.
That didn’t set well with the suspect, who said, ”It’s a sacrilegious thing,” according toUPI.com.
This isn’t Potthoff’s first encounter with the law.
Last May, he was arrested for calling the Secret Service with a fake bomb threat, according to a police report dated May 2, 2013.
He told police he made that threat because he felt people, mainly family and attorneys, would not leave him alone.