A US judge found a Pennsylvanian Muslim not guilty of a harassment charge brought after he attacked a man dressed as a zombie Mohammed during a Mechanicsburg hallowe’en parade.
Not only did district Judge Mark Martin dismiss the case against Talaag Elbayomy, he called the victim, Ernie Perce, a”doofus.”
Perce, one of a number of the Atheists of Central Pennsylvania group who participated in the parade, said that Elbayomy:
Grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around to try to get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck.
Both men then reported the incident to Sgt Brian Curtis. After speaking to both victim and assailant, the copper concluded:
Mr Perce has the right to do what he did that evening, and the defendant in this case was wrong in confronting him.
Judge Martin, who has done several tours of duty in the Middle East, said Perce would be put to death in those societies for his crime, but Perce quite rightly wonders why that’s relevant in the US.
He let a man who is Muslim, because of his preference of his culture and his way of life, walk free from an attack.
But R Mark Thomas, who defended Elbayomy, applauded the judge.
I think this was a good dressing down by the judge. The so-called victim was the antagonist and we introduced evidence that clearly showed his attitude toward Muslims. The judge didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have done if I was in that position.
Although Elbayomy denied touching Perce, Curtis said he admitted grabbing Perce’s sign and beard on the night of the incident.
Talaag Elbayomy said he was at the parade with his wife and two kids and felt he just had to do something. In fact, he too called police because he thought it was a crime for someone to depict Mohammed in such a way.
Hat tip: Remigius