Multiple cars vandalized outside Winnipeg mosque
Published Friday, July 27, 2012 1:25PM CST
Last Updated Friday, July 27, 2012 6:23PM CST
Members of a Winnipeg mosque left a late-night prayer Thursday to find a man vandalizing their vehicles and yelling threats at them.
Witnesses told CTV News a man with no shirt on smashed about a dozen windshields and yelled threats at people leaving the Winnipeg Central Mosque on Ellice Avenue.
Officials with the mosque said between 11 and 15 cars were damaged before the man ran into a nearby home.
Othello Rico lives nearby and said the noise was so loud it woke him inside his home. “I fell asleep watching TV and then I heard a couple of thuds,” said Rico.
No one was injured in the acts of vandalism, but blood was found on some of the cars that had their windshields smashed.
Winnipeg police are now investigating the incident and said they do not believe it was racially or religiously motivated.
“There is no indication that it was religious-based – that there was any intent to target vehicles related specifically to members of the mosque,” said Const. Eric Hofley with the Winnipeg Police Service.
The mosque’s manager, Idris Knapp, said he believes the attack was random.
“I don’t think the Muslim community or the immigrant community was targed specifically. I’m worried more about our community,” said Knapp.
Members of the mosque weren’t the only ones victimized. Terrilyn Patzer lives in the area and had her car damaged as well. “I came downstairs and saw my windows smashed, and I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ ”
Patzer’s windshield had blood on it, as well as being smashed.
“I was really mad. This area is so bad. It’s just, you know, devastating,” said Patzer.
Patzer said she’d like to move from the area but can’t afford to.
Witnesses said officers confiscated a two-by-four shortly after the vandalism, but police would not confirm what was used to smash the windows.