Coach suspended after threatening to burn down Christian pizzeria

Jess Dooley(Photo: Concord High School Athletics)

An Indiana coach was suspended last week after a threatening tweet towards a Christian pizzeria was brought to the attention of local authorities. 

Concord and Elkhart County Special Education Cooperative golf and softball coach Jess Dooley targeted Memories Pizza, a business that received international attention after admitting they would refuse to service gay weddings. 

Dooley took to Twitter to express her frustration towards the Walkerton pizzeria on March 31. "Who's going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?" she wrote. "Agree with #FreedomofReligion bill? 'That's a lifestyle they CHOOSE' Ignorant."

The tweet has since been deleted, and Dooley's Twitter account is deactivated.

The Walkerton Police Department completed an investigation into Dooley's threatening tweet and referred the case to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office for possible harassment, intimidation and threat charges. 

Elkhart County Special Education Cooperative declined to comment on the controversy, while Concord Superintendent Wayne Stubbs confirmed that Dooley will be under suspension until an investigation is complete.

Memories Pizza has been the target of defamation and threats since they told a local news station that they would not cater a gay wedding if asked. The pizzeria has also received an outpouring of support, however. 

A conservative journalist created a GoFundMe page for the owners of the business, and raised more than $800,000 in a matter of days. Some of the donors were members of the LGBT community who supported freedom of religion. 

"The gay community that we know knows full well what it's like to be condemned for doing nothing but living your life according to your beliefs," donor Courtney Hoffman said.

"We know so many gay individuals that fully support the freedom of living your life according to your beliefs and feel that freedom extends to everyone, even the people that we don't agree with."