Meriden Man Who Allegedly Fired Shots into Mosque Charged with Federal Hate Crime Offense
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that TED HAKEY, JR., 48, of Meriden, has been arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging him with intentionally damaging religious property, the Baitul Aman Mosque in Meriden.
HAKEY was arrested yesterday. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven and was ordered detained. A detention hearing is scheduled for December 21 at 9:30 a.m.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, in the early morning hours of November 14, 2015, shortly after learning of the terrorist attacks in Paris, HAKEY who lived next door to the Mosque used his high powered rifle to discharge several rounds at the Mosque. Four bullets hit the mosque, with three penetrating the building. No one was inside the mosque at the time of the shooting and no one was injured during the incident.
“All citizens of this earth should be free to worship without fear of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Daly. “As Americans, we must not let fear drive us away from our values and toward hateful and divisive acts against others. 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. 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.”
“This arrest should serve as a clear message that crimes of hate against individuals of any race, creed, gender or religious background will not be tolerated,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Ferrick. “This is the result of FBI, ATF, Connecticut State Police and the Meriden Police Department working night and day to bring some degree of comfort to a community that has been victimized by fear and hate.”
The charge of intentionally damaging religious property through use of a dangerous weapon carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Connecticut State Police and the Meriden Police Department.