A group of teens who have been charged with disturbing a religious service and first-degree harassment for allegedly harassing parishioners of a local mosque earlier this year could face federal hate crimes charges.
Obama can’t bring himself to put Islamic terrorists on trial but he’ll go after a couple of badly behaving teenagers.
JOURNAL REGISTER – CARLTON, NY – According to Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone, motions have been filed in the cases, but no pleas have been made. “Not any one of them has been disposed yet,” he said.
About 50 members of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque on Fuller Road in the Town of Carlton were disrupted during Ramadan services at about 11 p.m. Aug. 30 when a group of teens in two vehicles began beeping car horns, squealing tires and yelling obscenities, according to Bilal Huzair, a Carlton resident who is also a board member and spokesman for the mosque.
The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office charged five Holley residents with disrupting a religious service, a misdemeanor, the day after the incident. Charged were Tim Weader, 17; Dylan Phillips, 18; Jeff Donahue, 18; Anthony Ogden, 18; and Mark Vendetti, 17. The harassment charges were added later.
Vendetti was also charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly firing a gun in the area of the mosque three days earlier. He was taken to Orleans County Jail and was freed on $10,000 bail.
While Huzair initially said that he and other parishioners felt the mosque was targeted, he has since said they are hoping for a “just punishment” and they would prefer “nothing extreme” to happen to the suspects. “Upon looking at what had happened and after time has expired, we don’t think the boys had any intent of making a hate crime,” he said after a previous court appearance. “They were shouting anti-Muslim obscenities. However, it was a one-time deal.”
Because of the attention the incident has gotten across the state and the country, Cardone said the proceedings have gotten more complicated. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has gotten involved and federal hate crime charges are still possible.