Evaluation ordered for Morton Grove mosque air-rifle suspect, bottle bomb set off outside Lombard mosque
By DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org August 13, 2012 3:42PM
David Conrad / photo from Morton Grove police.
Updated: August 13, 2012 6:54PM
A neighbor charged with firing a high-powered pellet gun at a Morton Grove mosque while worshippers prayed inside was ordered Monday to undergo an anger-management evaluation.
A Cook County judge set bail at $45,000 for David Conrad, who faces felony weapons and criminal damage to property charges stemming from the Friday night shooting at the Muslim Education Center.
Judge Marguerite Quinn ordered the 51-year-old Conrad to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet if he is able to make bail, as well as to surrender any guns he owns and to avoid any contact with the mosque or its members, said Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Conrad is accused of firing the air rifle — a high-velocity model equipped with a telescopic sight, authorities said — at the mosque as about 500 worshippers prayed at a Ramadan service inside. Security guards outside called police after a projectile struck the building near one of the officers, mosque officials said.
Conrad will fight the charges, said his attorney, Al Knorr, who added the Morton Grove man is not a racist nor anti-Muslim.
“We vehemently deny the charges,” said Knorr, who described Conrad as a “community servant” who is a volunteer youth soccer coach and has been involved with a number of civic programs.
Conrad has posted bail and been released from custody, Knorr said.
Even as Conrad made his first court appearance, DuPage County authorities said Monday that a homemade bottle bomb had been detonated outside a Lombard Islamic school.
No one was injured in that 11:30 p.m. Sunday attack at the College Preparatory School of America. The device — which police said appeared to be a two-liter plastic bottle filled with caustic chemicals — caused no damage when it exploded outside the building.
The noise disturbed worshippers who were inside for a Ramadan prayer service.
“They heard a loud bang and called 911,” Lombard Deputy Chief Pat Rollins said.
This was the first such incident directed against the Islamic school, which has been located in Lombard for at least 15 years, Rollins said.
But the police have investigated several incidents of graffiti at the school.
School officials couldn’t be reached Monday for comment.
The Council of Islamic Organizations said in a written statement Monday the group is “appalled at the increasing attacks on Muslim institutions.” It warned Muslim institutions to take extra precautions through the end of Ramadan on Aug. 19.
“These and other incidents of anti-Muslim bigotry are occurring in an atmosphere of hate resulting from inflammatory statements by elected officials locally and nationwide,” said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago’s executive director.