UPDATE: Hate Crime Charge, 5 Felonies Pressed Against Home Glen Vandal
UPDATE: The man who vandalized a Homer Glen family home with anti-Muslim graffiti (see press release) has been charged with a hate crime and 5 other felonies. CAIR-Chicago applauds law enforcement for swiftly and sternly upholding the rights of Muslim-Americans and protecting them in the face of bigotry.
"A man is facing multiple felonies, including a hate crime charge, after he allegedly spray painted an anti-Muslim message on a sidewalk in front of a family’s home in southwest suburban Homer Glen.
Patrick Goshorn, 26, is charged with a count of hate crime, two counts of criminal damage to property and a count of criminal damage to state supported property — all felonies, the Will County sheriff’s office announced Thursday. He was also charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal defacement of property.
The sheriff’s office, which provides law enforcement services for Homer Glen, was contacted about 8 p.m. Monday after a couple found the message spray painted on the sidewalk in front of their home in the 13000 block of West Sparrow Court, authorities said.
In addition to contacting the sheriff’s office, the son of the couple also reached out to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil rights group with an office in Chicago. In a statement released Tuesday, the group’s executive director, Ahmed Rehab, called on authorities to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
“These kinds of cowardly attacks are designed to do one thing: make people feel unwelcome and unsafe, even in the sanctity of their own homes, for no other reason than their personal choice of faith,” CAIR Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said in the statement.
The family has lived in the community for more than 20 years, Rehab said.
Rehab thanked the sheriff’s office on Thursday for taking the incident seriously and said: “The family ultimately wishes for the rehabilitation of their offender, and our advocating for leniency is not out of the question pending his cooperation to rehabilitate. The safety of the family and other potential victims remains our first priority.”
The graffiti contained crosses and a message that appeared to be an attempt to mock the Islamic phrase “peace be upon him,” which Muslims say when they reference the Prophet Muhammad, authorities said. The couple’s car was also damaged by paint.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home again about 5 p.m. the following day when the family reported Goshorn acting suspiciously in front of their house, the sheriff’s office said. The family told deputies that when a relative tried to pulled out of their driveway, Goshorn began waving a “large glass of beer” and yelled at them.
Goshorn, of Homer Glen, was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct, the sheriff’s office said. He was later released on a personal recognizance bond.
On Wednesday, deputies went to Goshorn’s home and conducted a search that led them to find a can of leather brown spay paint inside an attached garage, the sheriff’s office said.
Goshorn was taken back into custody, interviewed and eventually charged in connection with the graffiti case, the sheriff’s office said. Goshorn appeared in court Thursday afternoon where his bail was set at $100,000. If he posts bond, Goshorn will also be required to submit to electronic monitoring and was told to stay away from the family’s home.
His next court date was scheduled for Oct. 11."
(ABC, FOX, WGN, CBS, Sun-Times, Tribune, Daily Herald, Patch)
“We thank the Sheriff’s office for their professional and swift investigation and the Will County State Attorney’s office for taking this unfortunate incident seriously. Hate crimes are a serious offense that do not only threaten public safety but also cause a victim immense psychological distress. The family ultimately wishes for the rehabilitation of their offender, and our advocating for leniency is not out of the question pending his cooperation to rehabilitate. However, it is imperative that hate crime statutes be fully observed to send a strong message that such acts will carry grave consequences and deter repeat. The safety of the family and other potential victims remains our first priority.”
-Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director