Omar Rivera of the Bronx was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing last night, after he entered a Queens mosque drunk and urinated inside, the NYPD confirmed to TPM.
Mustapha Sadouki told the New York Post, which first reported the incident, that Rivera entered the Al-Iman Mosque “with a beer bottle in his hands, clearly very intoxicated.”
The Post reported that Rivera also shouted
anti-Muslim slurs, but the NYPD did not confirm that fact to TPM. Police told TPM that Rivera was charged with criminal trespass, but would not disclose if he was still being held.
“He stuck up his middle finger and cursed at everyone,” Sadouki told the Post.
The incident at the Queens mosque is apparently unrelated to a much-reported on incident Tuesday night, when 21-year-old Michael Enright was arrested for allegedly stabbing a cab driver, Ahmed Sharif, after asking Sharif if he was Muslim.
Late Update: The Washington Post was told by the NYPD that Rivera was so drunk that he didn’t even know he was at a mosque, and police say they don’t believe the incident was bias-related. The New York Post has since updated its original story — removing any mention of anti-Muslim slurs. A police source also tells the Post that when found by worshipers, Rivera said “My sister’s dead.”
Late Late Update: The NYPD now confirms to TPM that the incident is not being investigated as bias-related. The NYPD said members of the mosque stated that Rivera did not make biased comments during the incident.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com