Violent Assault At Mosque Following Donation Jar Theft Allegatio - New York News

Violent Assault At Mosque Following Donation Jar Theft Allegations

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So far, one person is under arrest for the incident at an Overbrook mosque.

Police say the violent assault stems from accusations of stealing.

The allegations come during the religion's holiest time, Ramadan.

The crime has members of the mosque and the community in shock.

Police say when prayer services ended here at this mosque in Overbook Tuesday morning, two leaders of the masjid allegedly accused another member of stealing from a donation jar. They moved quickly to carry out punishment.

"they take his wrist place it on top of a log , second male goes into the mosque, comes out with a machete, one male holds his wrist on the actual log and the male swings down in a downward motion striking his wrist with the machete," said Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives.

Police arrested 37-year-old Merv Mitchell, who also goes by the name Mabul Shoatz. He was charged with aggravated assault and other crimes for the machete attack. Mitchell is a leader at the mosque.

"He is the person who actually swung the machete. The second male we're working on a warrant for his arrest with district attorney's office" said Walker.

Investigators say the brutal attack took place in the back yard at the mosque in the 1000 block of North 63rd street just after prayer services at sun rise. The 46-year-old victim underwent surgery at nearby Mercy Hospital.

"The machete doesn't appear to be too sharp, it actually tears through his tendons," said Walker

Police returned to the mosque Thursday night. They executed a search warrant and recovered the machete. They took pictures of the crime scene. Neighbors and those who pray here every day reacted to the attack.

The victim has been released from the hospital and denies being involved in an theft.

Mitchell has a long list of prior arrests.

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