A Northeast Ohio man was charged with felony ethnic intimidation on Friday after he drove up to a suburban Cleveland mosque and called attendees going to a service “terrorists” and “child molesters,” police said.
James Remington, 52, drove up to the Islamic Center of Cleveland in Parma, Ohio, on Thursday morning and told a man directing traffic for an Eid al Adha service that he wanted to join the mosque to “molest children,” Parma Police Lieutenant Kevin Riley said.
Mosque attendees said they saw Remington reach for something in his vehicle before he sped off directly into the line of sight of two Parma officers directing traffic on the main road and was captured, Riley said. Police found a hatchet in the vehicle, he said.
Remington, who lives adjacent to the mosque property, pleaded not guilty to ethnic intimidation in a court appearance on Friday in Parma Municipal court. Judge Timothy P. Gilligan set bond at $5,000 and ordered Remington to stay at least 500 feet away from the mosque.
He faces up to 12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines for the 5th degree felony.
An attorney appointed temporarily to Remington’s case for the hearing on Friday declined to comment.
The case will be sent to a Cuyahoga County grand jury, the judge said.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Alan Crosby)