A Palos Hills Muslim already facing hate crime charges for allegedly slashing tires at two churches was arrested again in April on felony charges of arson, hate crimes, criminal damage to property, battery to a police officer and violation of bail bond. Osama E. El Hanouny, 25, was arrested after police said he used leaves to set fires at the parish center of Sacred Heart Church in Palos Hills.
Chicago Tribune El Hannouny was apprehended by police as he fled the scene and bit, scratched, spit on and threatened officers while he was being processed, police said.
It was the second arrest for El Hannouny since November, when he was charged with 14 counts of criminal damage to property for allegedly slashing tires of vehicles at two church parking lots. The charges were later upgraded to a hate crime after he told police he disliked Christians.
He also used his clothing to carve “Kill Christian now” on the wall of his cell, police said.
El Hannouny was caught on video looking through the doors of the church building and noticing that it was occupied. Police said he made numerous trips to pile leaves near the gas main and air conditioning unit. El Hannouny allegedly set the leaves on fire, but firefighters quickly extinguished the flames and no injuries were reported.