Man accused of firing shots at Meriden mosque faces a judge - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Man accused of firing shots at Meriden mosque faces a judge

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Police investigated after a Meriden mosque was shot at after the Paris attacks. (WFSB photo) Police investigated after a Meriden mosque was shot at after the Paris attacks. (WFSB photo)

Federal prosecutors are saying that a man from Meriden accused of firing shots at a mosque following the Paris attacks is a danger to the community during his court appearance on Monday morning.

Ted Hakey, Jr., 48, looked down the scope of a high-powered rifle and fired four bullets at the Baitul Amam Mosque, according to investigators.

In U.S. District Court in New Haven, the federal prosecutor laid out their case and asked for Hakey to be detained until trial.

The Baitul Amam Mosque is located right next door to his home on Main Street.

After a night of drinking, investigators said Hakey claimed he was aiming at a wood pile and repeatedly told police he had no ill will toward his neighbors at the mosque.

On the day of the shooting, the FBI said Hakey sent a text message.

"If the Muslims attack over here again, it's over for them," he wrote. "Americans will snap and play cowboys and Muslims. It will get ugly."

Court documents said police recovered 18 shell cases in his yard, all matching the bullets found inside the mosque.  The documents also said they found two dozen guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and a bullet proof vest in his home.

The government said Hakey lied to state about having guns in his house, when he sponsored a felon on parole to live with him. Instead prosecutors claim, Hakey moved all his guns to his mother's house in order to pass the inspection and then brought them back.

The federal prosecutor said Hakey is a danger to the community because of his Facebook posts and the amount of guns he owns. They said Hakey cannot be trusted and should be monitored by probation.

Assistant US Attorney Raymond Miller told the judge, Hakey showed "anger, lack of self-control, and poor judgment. It's a risk this court should not take." 

While he remains locked up, the government said Hakey lied to them about his view of Muslims. He allegedly told investigators he had no issue with his neighbors, but they say they found dozens of Facebook posts. He posted "all Muslims must die!!!  I hate them all” and "if you are Muslim, (expletive) you.  I hate you."

Hakey is not believed to be a flight risk. Hakey has been a suspect in the case for a month and knew he was going to be arrested last week after meeting with federal agents.

While prosecutor said some mosque members are still fearful, on Friday, others told Eyewitness News they would forgive Hakey.

"These are hate filled crimes," Zahir Mannan, who is a mosque youth leader, said. "We're sorry he wasn't able to come to our mosque, the house of peace and learn about the true teachings of Islam."

Hakey will remain in jail until his detention hearing , which was continued until 2:30 p.m. at US District Court in New Haven. The hearing will decide whether or not to set bond. 

The attorney for Hakey, Jeffrey Cohen, declined comment on Monday, but is expected to speak after Monday’s hearing. 

If Hakey is convicted of intentionally damaging religious property, he faces 20 years in prison.

To read the full indictment, click here

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