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Man Accused of Hate Crime at Mosque

Police say Centerport resident threw sealer, glass bottle into Huntington mosque parking lot.

have arrested a Centerport man on charges of criminal mischief as a hate crime after police said he intentionally damaged a Huntington mosque parking lot last month.

Hate Crimes Unit detectives, with the assistance of Second Precinct Crime Section officers, were conducting surveillance at Masjid Noor Mosque,  at 1032 Park Ave., as part of a continuing investigation into incidents of vandalism at the location. Police said that while detectives and officers were at the location Tuesday night, Stephen Pratt threw a glass bottle into the mosque driveway from his vehicle.    

 Pratt, 55, of 700 Washington Dr., was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime for throwing a container of white concrete sealer into the driveway of the mosque on Dec. 31.

He was also charged with second-degree harassment in Tuesday night’s incident. Pratt is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip. He is due back in court Jan.25.

Rob January 11, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Seems like a big stretch to me. All I see is littering. Criminal mischief? Hate Crime for a tube of silicone?
Jim R. January 11, 2012 at 08:31 PM
He probably didn't even know it was a mosque
Brian January 11, 2012 at 09:00 PM
White concrete sealer constitutes a hate crime? I could understand a molotov cocktail or a jar of pig blood but concrete sealer? Come SCPD.....capons.
michelle January 12, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Wonderful police work. Those incidents of vandalism happened last spring. Did the man say why he threw it? Perhaps he was littering, which is inexcusable but not a hate crime. What I would like to know is where was the crack team of second precinct Police when a child was left in a running vehicle outside Waldgreens at 7:30p.m ? They were called and notified of this incident, the caller was told to go inside to alert the staff, the caller stated they would not leave the child unattended in vehicle as it was running and could be stolen in their abscence. The owner of the vehicle finally emerged and due to a language barrier was unable to explain why they left an infant in the car and appeared confused about being confronted for this. By the way, after waiting for more than 45 minutes no police ever showed. I wonder what was more important than an unattended infant in a running vehicle that not one Officer could tear themselves away! I have all the respect in the world for the Police, but this is simply inexcusable!
Pam Robinson (Editor) January 12, 2012 at 09:40 PM
No, as the police note, they occurred Dec.31 and again this week, the second one while the police were there. There were earlier instances, which is why I suspect the police believe someone targeted the mosque and it wasn't just a casual bit of littering.
Jim R. January 12, 2012 at 09:41 PM
They needed to make an arrest to please the PC liberals.
Jerry Hannon January 13, 2012 at 02:42 AM
I am amazed by those who hate anything Muslim, and are willing to excuse those who (undoubtedly, from descriptions, but the courts will decide) chose to carry out damaging and faith-insulting acts against a Muslim house of worship. If such repetitive damage was done to the property of a church or a synagogue, I wonder how many of these would similarly excuse such acts. Does this rise to the level of personal injury? No. But, is this tolerable in our pluralistic society? Absolutely not. This has nothing to do with conservative, or centrist (me), or liberal. This is a violation of the American spirit, and our best ideals as a nation. It is entirely the opposite of patriotic, and is damaging to the national interest.
Jim R. January 13, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Jerry - who said anything about "hating anything muslim"? And what were the "faith insulting acts" that were committed here? Is white concrete sealer insulting to Muslims? You are just assuming that he is guilty of a hate crime because it's against a mosque. This is another example of people jumping the gun and trying too hard to placate those we're afraid to offend. AND while you're preaching about the American way, isn't it innocent until proven guilty? Please Jerry, you need to get real.
Jerry Hannon January 13, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Jim R. (I love unidentified people; most courageous) posted: "AND while you're preaching about the American way, isn't it innocent until proven guilty? Please Jerry, you need to get real." AND, Jim R. since you skipped by key parts of what I wrote (to wit, "...are willing to excuse those who (undoubtedly, from descriptions, but the courts will decide) chose to carry out damaging and faith-insulting acts against a Muslim house of worship.", I would suggest that you need to learn how to read. "...but the courts will decide..." is pretty clear, Jim R.; I stated what I believe, but the accused perpetrator is indeed presumed innocent, under the law, until proven guilty. By the way, I also believe that O.J. Simpson was actually guilty of murder, even though he was found "not guilty" in court. Whatever you believe about this accused hate crimes perpetrator, I personally believe (given the police witnessing) that he committed some if not all the acts of which he is accused, You don't seem to know that, like the orthodox and conservative members of the Jewish faith, Muslims are religiously prohibited from eating pork, so the pig's feet throwing incident was hardly a subtle act, except for those who know little about that faith community. If this guy had thrown paint on the driveway of the East Northport Jewish Center and had also thrown pigs feet there, I'd come to the same conclusion; he would still, as you rightly point out, be innocent until proven guilty.
Robert Desmond January 13, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Agreed, any attack on any house of worship is un-American. But lets get real here. The hypocrisy is sickening. How often do you hear about hate crime charges being filed against those who vandalize churches and synagogues? It would appear that Muslims get special treatment. Why is that because they have an anti Christian /Jewish bias much as the media does? It looks as if the Muslims are the new "chosen people" of the media.
Jim R. January 13, 2012 at 04:22 AM
You see it as courage, but I think using your real name (and picture!!) is just plain dumb. Regarding the pig's feet... where, in this article, does it state he did that he threw pigs feet? If he did, then by all means, he should be charged with a hate crime. But I don't see that being mentioned as one of the charges (or by doing a quick google search). Why are you making stuff up? And yes, I did know that Muslims aren't allowed to eat pork, or drink alcohol, or charge interest on loans, and have to pray five times a day while facing Mecca, and have to make a pilgrimage to the Haj, etc. etc. . I know more about Islam then you can ever wrap your head around (family is from a Muslim country...).
Jerry Hannon January 13, 2012 at 06:58 AM
As much as I love and respect Patch, I hope that it isn't the only source of information for you. While I haven't noticed anything in Newsday, yet, the local press is covering this. In the January 12 edition of The Long-Islander, on page 1 and continuing on page 12, there is an extensive story on this incident and its predecessor incidents. It begins: "Multiple jars, including one containing pigs feet, have been thrown into the parking lot of the Masjid Noor mosque since New Year's Eve." Then in the seventh paragraph, the article says: "On Jan 6, Hernandez (identified by the article as the Suffolk County Police Department Hate Crimes Unit Commanding Officer) said someone threw a glass bottle into the parking lot. The next day, someone threw a pig's foot onto the property. On Jan 9, a glass jar containing pig's feet was thrown into the parking lot. And on Jan 10 someone threw an empty wine bottle onto the driveway." Now, I have no more use for Muslims who abhor wine or pork than I have for Orthodox Jews who abhor shellfish or pork, or for Mormons who abhor coffee or alcohol, or for Southern Baptists who abhor dancing or alcohol, or for Roman Catholics who abhor "artificial contraception", or for Jains who abhor taking almost any living thing for food, and so on, but my personal disdain for their beliefs does not mean that I, or anyone else, should attack them, at their houses of worship, for those beliefs or anything else related to their faith.
Jim R. January 13, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I will look for those articles in the Long Islander. You should have referenced these articles before you went on a harangue about how this is unamerican, we don't know anything about Islam, blah, blah, blah. Rather, you started preaching... nobody likes Internet preachers.

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