Hear from mother targeted with violent, racial threats by man she met through Taylor church program

Suspect’s mother said church tried to council him on his drug use

Woman targeted with violent, racial threats

INKSTER, Mich. – A terrorizing message was sent to an Inkster mother last July.

“At first I thought it was a joke,” Teresa Patton said.

The message came from the Facebook page of an 83-year-old man. Patton is a lawyer and her husband is in law enforcement.

READ: Man pleads guilty to threatening Taylor woman due to her race

The Facebook page the message came from had two friends. One of the friends was Ronny Wyatt, 22. Patton said she knew Wyatt. She brought him food through her church outreach program.

Wyatt admitted to investigators that on July 23, 2019, he used social media to send a message to the woman that said he would show up at her church with “my AK to put you and your [expletive] family down [expletive].”

The DOJ said Wyatt admitted he was acting intentionally to obstruct the woman’s freedom of religion, he threatened her because she is African-American and that he intended her to read his message as a threat.

Sunset Church of Christ in Taylor did not shut down due to the threat. They did ramp up security. Patton’s husband walked the aisles while armed to protect the congregation.

Wyatt pleaded guilty Wednesday to intentionally threatening physical harm to a woman to obstruct her free exercise of religion.

His mother told police that Wyatt was angry that the church tried to council him on his drug use.

Officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation found several weapons that they said belong to Wyatt at a mobile home off Beech Daily, near Ecorse Road.

“I won’t let him or anyone else make me a victim,” Patton said.

READ: More local crime coverage

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.