Mosque vandal deemed mentally ill, will not be criminal charged

vlcsnap-2017-12-11-23h11m15s30_1513051895357_4659925_ver1.0_640_360.pngUPPER DARBY, Pa. (WTFX) – Upper Darby Police have identified the man who they say placed hateful signs outside a mosque a couple weeks ago.

That man will not be criminally charged after he was identified as a mental health client.

As members of Masjid Al Madinah arrived for evening prayers Monday, the news was spreading that the man who allegedly placed hate signs at the mosque two weeks ago would not be facing charges after he was found to have mental health issues.

“I said go ahead and forgive him, it is our faith and we believe forgive people,” said one man.

Superintendent Michael Chitwood says detectives identified the man on Friday with help from the community.

He lives right near the mosque and Chitwood said during a police interview that it was obvious something was wrong with the 63-year-old Greek immigrant.

“You could see just by talking to him that he was intellectually disabled.”

Two weeks ago, surveillance cameras captured the man walking up to the mosque at 69th and Walnut carrying signs filled with hate language. He placed them at this and another mosque facility a few blocks away.

“He admitted making the signs. He admitted putting the signs up. He felt that Muslims were in fact the enemy,” said Chitwood.

Police say the man has no prior criminal record, he’s not been involved in anything like this before. He was evaluated by mental health experts and did not have any weapons or other harmful items at his home.

The superintendent says the man was also given a warning.

“If you go anywhere near that mosque or any types of threats to anybody we’ll file the charges against you and come after you.”

The man in question has been in the United States for almost 40 years. He’s not affiliated with any known groups and has never done anything like this before.

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