Waterbury Police Respond to Harassment Complaints at Local Mosque

Waterbury police have arrested a man in connection with taunts and harassment of members of the Masjid al Mustafa, a mosque on Schraffts Drive.

Wednesday and Thursday nights people attending Ramadan services at the mosque were subjected to racist and ethnic slurs from a man in a pickup truck. Some of the mosque members provide security.

Jawad Ashraf said, "We had a few instances of racial slurs, the n word, so on and so forth about him and then we have the Islamophobic terms, sand n word, go back to your country, Isis, towelheads."

With his help identifying a suspect Waterbury police say they have arrested a man on breach of peace charges.

Across the street a new mosque is two months from completion. In the parking lot Wednesday a man in a pickup truck rolled up on two members of the mosque and dazed them with bright lights. They thought he was from the police before he started yelling at them.

Waterbury police Chief Vernon Riddick said, "It's troubling, disturbing - someone is violating the law and we will not tolerate that and we took the appropriate action."

Police say they have added patrols in the area.

"I'm surprised that it's happening. This is a peaceful community," said Naveed Khan, vice chairman of the mosque.

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