Former Army Medic Admits To Vandalizing Mosque

By Lauren DiSpirito

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The man accused of vandalizing a Fort Collins mosque on Sunday admitted to carrying out the attack, according to court documents.

Surveillance images captured the incident around 4:00 a.m. at the Islamic Center of Fort Collins at 925 West Lake Street. Leaders say rocks were thrown through glass doors, windows were damaged, and a bible had been thrown inside, through a shattered glass pane.

islamic center vandalism 678979kg transfer Former Army Medic Admits To Vandalizing Mosque

An image of the suspect (credit: CBS)

An arrest affidavit in the case indicates investigators tied Joseph Giaquinto, 35, of Fort Collins, to the crime through evidence found at the scene and inside his home, an apartment located across the street from the mosque.

In an interview with detectives, Giaquinto told them he knew he was on the center’s property without permission, caused the damaged, then went home to get a bible, before returning to throw it inside, according to the document.

joseph gianquinto from ft collins pd Former Army Medic Admits To Vandalizing Mosque

Joseph Giaquinto (credit: Fort Collins Police Department)

Tuesday, Giaquinto appeared in court on charges of criminal mischief, trespassing and bias motivated crime. A judge set his bond at $7,500.

After the court appearance, Giaquinto’s father told CBS4 his son spent eight years in the army and served in Iraq.

“He’s got some PTSD, like many of the guys that come home from overseas,” Michael Giaquinto said.

isfc vandalism 1 Former Army Medic Admits To Vandalizing Mosque

(credit: Islamic Center of Fort Collins/Facebook)

isfc vandalism 5 Former Army Medic Admits To Vandalizing Mosque

(credit: Islamic Center of Fort Collins/Facebook)

Friends say recently, Giaquinto’s behavior had changed.

“The past few months, the Joey I know wasn’t around, like, he wouldn’t really talk to me,” Nathan Barnett said.

A criminal background check reveals two months ago, police arrested Giaquinto on suspicion of theft, in a case unrelated to Sunday’s incident.

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Joseph Giaquinto (credit: CBS)

The arrest document makes no mention of specifically why Giaquinto may have targeted this center. The incident has mosque leaders rethinking security. The community has already raised more than $25,000 to pay for improvements.

 

Lauren DiSpirito reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. She covers breaking news and feature stories along Colorado’s Front Range. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

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