Delaware police charged a man with committing a hate crime after he spied on and threatened to firebomb his neighbors, who he suspected were Muslim.
Gerard Medvec told authorities that, after spying on his neighbors, he suspected they were Muslim and that he intended to “take the fight to them,” according to Delaware Online.
Delaware City Police Chief David Baylor confirmed that Medvec’s neighbors are not Muslim, but Medvec concluded that they were based on using binoculars to observe one of them, a black male, who Medvec thought was wearing a “Muslim hat.”
Court documents show that Medvec met with authorities earlier in Oct. to express his concerns, according to the Associated Press, and told them he “seriously thought about throwing some Molotov cocktails” at his neighbors’ house.
“For someone to draw an opinion of people just based on the color of their skin is obviously disturbing,” Baylor told Delaware Online. “That he threatened to take possible action is very alarming.”
Medvec initially met with Baylor on Oct. 5 and told him that he feared Muslims were infiltrating the U.S. in order to overrun it. He then made a 911 call on Oct. 14 and mentioned a threat on his life that he had previously reported. Police checked on Medvec at his house and took note of some binoculars that he left on a windowsill. He then told them about that man with the “Muslim hat.”
State Police’s Mobile Crisis Unit sent a psychiatric social worker to Medvec’s home Oct. 17. He agreed to meet with the Mobile Crisis Team. Authorities noted two semi-automatic rifles, one with a taped magazine, in the house. Medvec also removed a pistol from his waistband before leaving his home to meet with the Mobile Crisis Team.
Authorities arrested Medvec Oct. 20 and charged him with a hate crime, as per a conversation with the Delaware Attorney General’s Office. A judge released on $4,000 bail and ordered him to hand over all of his firearms and to have no contact with the neighbors whom he threatened to firebomb.