FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- A suspect has been arrested and charged with a hate crime in connection with gunshots fired at a Meriden mosque in November.
Ted Hakey, Jr., 48, of Meriden, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging him with intentionally damaging religious property at the Baitul Aman mosque.
“All citizens of this earth should be free to worship without fear of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Deidre M. Daly. "As Americans, we must not let fear drive us away from our values and toward hateful and divisive acts against others."
Hakey lives next door to Baitul Aman and was accused of firing shots with a high-powered rifle at the mosque in the early hours of Nov. 14 after learning of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Three of the four bullets that hit the mosque penetrated the building. Nobody was inside at the time, and there were no injuries in the incident.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam ordered Hakey detained on Friday. A hearing for detention will take place Monday at 9:30 a.m.
If convicted, Hakey faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
"The core mission of the Department of Justice involves the safety of every person and their protection against racially, religiously and ethnically motivated violence and intimidation," Daly said. "We stand ready to prosecute individuals when rhetoric crosses the line to threats of violence or – as charged here – actual violence. I thank the FBI, ATF, Connecticut State Police and Meriden Police Department for their excellent work in this important investigation.”
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