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5 Teens Arrested After Shot Fired Outside Mosque

26 August 2011 General 8 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Five teens were arrested and charged after a shot was fired outside of an Orleans County mosque Monday night as worshipers were leaving nightly Ramadan services.

YNN spoke with members of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque in Waterport as well as law enforcement officials to learn more about what happened.

“I’m just grateful that things weren’t worse last night, which they easily could’ve been,” said David Bell of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque.

Members of the mosque in Waterport said they have been harassed since they were first founded in 1974. They said they have experienced everything from people speeding by and shouting vulgar language to having their fence torn out and burned down.

Still, they said nothing compares to what happened Monday after nightly prayer services.

“As we were standing here, the one car came back and instead of speeding by that car swerved directly into our group of people. It clipped me,” Bell said. “I fell to the ground and what’s even more difficult is what happened after. There was a group of people and a shot was fired before the car sped away.”

“This is actually the first time that someone’s actually been physically injured and that’s a concern for us. Imagine coming out after a service, particularly a holy service, coming out and seeing someone flipped by a car obviously we’re going to feel threatened by it, we’re going to feel insecure about it and we’re gonna wonder where is our protection and where are our rights,” said Bilal Huzair of the World Sufi Foundation Mosque.

Huzair said once David Bell was taken to the hospital for treatment, he and other members of the mosque drove to the boat launch and used their cars to surround the two vehicles full of teens until police arrived.

Huzair claims it took more than 40 minutes for police to arrive and that police only came after the teens called 911 to say they were being harassed.

“I think there’s some miscommunication as to what agencies can respond and where they respond. There was more than one law enforcement agency involved in this. We did have local Albion police and state police assisting the sheriff’s office on both incidents,” said Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess.

“Whether or not it was properly responded to initially is something we’ll be looking at, but I can tell you on behalf of this county, this is something that we’re taking extremely serious and will be properly addressed to be sure there will be no further escalation of what’s already occurred and the harassment that they’ve been subject to,” said Joseph Cardone, Orleans County district attorney.

Investigators charged Mark Vendetti, 17; Tim Weader, 17; Dylan Phillips, 18; Jeff Donahue, 18; and Anthony Ogden, 18, with misdemeanor disruption of religious services.

Vendetti is also charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly shooting a 16-gauge shotgun in front of the mosque where people were leaving. He was arraigned and sent to the Orleans County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Authorities said all five teens are buddies from Holley.

No charges have been filed related to Bell’s injury, though the district attorney said more charges are possible. Four of the teens are scheduled to appear in Carlton Town Court on September 6.

“I’m hopeful that something can begin to change,” Bell added.

Later in the day on Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called for appropriate hate crime charges to be brought against the five Orleans County teenagers.

“New York Muslims must be free to practice their faith without fear of harassment or intimidation,” said Faiza N. Ali, community affairs director of CAIR’s New York chapter.

People who live near the mosque are reacting to the arrests. Opinion seems to be mixed on whether the incidents are related to religion.

“Just kids being renegade kids, you know there’s renegade kids out there. So anyway nobody got shot I guess. Kid probably went by and blew a shot out of the window,” said Phil Coville of Albion.

“You don’t do pranks with loaded weapons. It’s unfortunate. Kids, I don’t know how old they are, but they have a way of wrecking their own youth with rash acts And i hope somebody will put the brakes on these guys,” said Patricia Smith of Ontario.

“They were wrong because you don’t go interrupt somebody’s thing and go shoot off a gun, that’s not right, that’s not right. They should think first with their actions, not try to hurt somebody,” said Deborah Rebar of Albion.

People that YNN spoke with said they know very little about the mosque itself.

YNN contacted Carlton Town Supervisor Gayle Ashbery, who declined comment for our report.
Huzair said members of the mosque immediately called 911 to report the incident.

He said another member, who was late to prayer service, spotted the black SUV and white truck parked down the road at the Lake Alice Public Boat Launch. He said the member recognized the vehicles as the ones that were allegedly involved in a separate harassing incident just a few days earlier.

Original post: 5 Teens Arrested After Shot Fired Outside Mosque

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8 Comments »

  1. While there are still many incidents of islamophobia happening, this is not one of them. It happened last year.

  2. This is also illegal under federal law (see subsections 2 and 3 of the FACE Act:

    Title 18, U.S.C., Section 248
    Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act

    This statute prohibits (1) the use of force or threat of force or physical obstruction, to intentionally injure, intimidate or interfere with or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person or any class of persons from obtaining or providing reproductive health services; (2) the use of force or threat of force or physical obstruction to intentionally injure, intimidate, or interfere with or attempt to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship; or (3) intentionally damages or destroys the property of a facility, or attempts to do so, because such facility provides reproductive health services or intentionally damages or destroys the property of a place of religious worship. This statute does not apply to speech or expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. Non obstructive demonstrations are legal.

    Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment for an offense involving exclusively a nonviolent physical obstruction, the fine shall be not more than $10,000 and the length of imprisonment shall be up to six months, or both, for the first offense: and the fine shall, notwithstanding section 3571, be up to $25,000 and the length of imprisonment shall be not more than 18 months, or both, for a subsequent offense; and if bodily injury results, the length of imprisonment shall be up to ten years, and if death results, it shall be for any term of years or for life.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/federal-statutes#section248

  3. They need to cvharge the teen driveing with the injury to the person that was run over. It is utterly bull that they cant put up more charges!! try them all as adults and with attempted murde rotherwise they will all be ou ton the street to do this again!

  4. I say, ever seen the movie “Red Dawn”. Similar situation, different characters. The sooner the Muslim’s go back to the desert waste land they call a home, the sooner these incidents will stop. Anybody remember a massive exodus of Americans moving to Japan after they bombed the crap outta Pearl Harbor? NO, but the muslims are moving over here in DROVES! It is a planned and orchestrated INVASION and they are trying to bring America down from the inside and piece by piece. Most of the idiotic, brainless people in this country can’t see the forest for the trees. The country is going to hell because of words like “political correctness” and “tolerance”. Well, it doesn’t matter. Americans are good people but we will only take so much crap before we pop and it gets REAL ugly. The enemy doesn’t undertsand this and this will work in our favor when the day finally comes. We are NOT the French. We are NOT the Swedes or Finish. We will NOT lay down and go quietly. I’ll even let some of you idiot libtards clean my weapon after you admit that “we told you so”.

  5. Alien

    You know that’s really fun. HAHAH, cause if you haven’t seen it yet, the Muslims are moving here in droves because the Middle East is in turmoil, why? Cause we hate the corrupt leaders too! And listen here, the only thing on a normal muslim kid’s mind is whether or not they’ll get an iPod this Eid, a muslim teenager’s is whther or not they should a) buy an ipod b)buy an iPad and a muslim adult is how much money theyre gonna need to pay for all that technology. Planned invasion my ass. Look at the Quran, there aint no goddamn word of “invasion” or ‘taking over” America.

    Inta lissa fil Jahiliyah, lazem tiqra’ il Quran wa tifham ihna sho bidna. Lazem tit’aref al Muslimeen wat dhalish ihbal hak.

    That would be Arabic slang, in English it says

    “Your an ignorant person, your still in Ignorant times. You gotta read the Quran and understand our wants (not your twisted dream that Islam will try to take over America and kill everyone) You gotta meet some Muslims and personally just chill with them and stop being so damn dumb.”

    Honestly, America is the land of the free, where people can come for a better life. Muslims are here for that reason, and I’m a second generation American Muslim with legit documentation, so dont tell me to go no where, I belong here as much as you do.(Your ancestors proABLY come through Ellis Island aka they were immigrants) And have you ever been to the middle east, it ain’t all desert, theres so much green and flowers and beauty, so open your eyes.

  6. alien ummm i am american bred born n raised by american parents and some of my ancestors go back to the peoples that came over the barring straight and are considered native to this land. so i should go back to where i call home? my family has done more for this countries freedom than most others families have! so i should go back where? where i was born you say? so youll send me back to arkansas…..ehem did you have an ancestor go up bunker hill? does one of your ancestors have a book in a library unde rlock n key that completely documents the lives and languages of several tribes of native americans? did you have family fighting on both sides of the civil war and in the revolutionary war? also did you know over 3000 muslims fought in those wars? each of those wars not combined? and if islam is sooooo bad then why was the only book saved when they burned a university in the south the Qur’an? also why is there so much of the Qur’an in the imancipation proclamation? also why did our gov work hard to free and send back to hi snative land a slave that happened to be a prince and a MUSLIM? you need to research a bit more before you spout off.

  7. oh and alien most of the muslims here are AMERICAN and are against the terroristic organisations such as the taliban and alqueida! that and only 3% of all terroristic acts here in the us are done by so called muslims whils the other 97% are done by non muslims. an act of terror is an act of terror and you should be against them all!

  8. elle his ancestors prolly came to america and murdered the natives while stealing their land and murdering their food source for fur and bones….it is so sad that people that came from lazy cowards that murdered for their land can now stand up against Americans that are here legitimately and payin gtheir dues to be here because his lil feelings are hurt by the lies the media feeds him. by the way the terrorist in norway was a radical cristian and not muslim!

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