PARMA, Ohio-- Parma police are releasing new information surrounding a disturbing incident that happened Thursday at the Islamic Center of Cleveland on W. 130th St. in Parma.
James Remington, 52, was arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation, which is a fifth-degree felony.
According to police, around 9:30 Thursday morning, Remington drove to the Islamic Center. When he saw an official from the mosque assisting with parking vehicles, he allegedly asked the official about joining the mosque so he could "molest children."
Remington was asked to leave, but he wouldn't. Police say he then allegedly reached for an object inside of his vehicle, which the official thought may have been a gun. He then reportedly began calling the worshippers "child molesters" and "terrorists." Parma police say Remington is also accused of driving his vehicle toward the mosque official nearly hitting him with his car.
He left the scene and was arrested by Parma police officers, who were directing traffic in front of the mosque.
Officers say a hatchet was found inside of Remington's vehicle. Remington pleaded not guilty in court Friday morning. His bond was set at $5,000.
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter released the following statement on the incident:
“Parma is an open community with many churches of diverse faiths. This is not reflective of Parma as a community. It's not who we are.
“Everyone has the right to worship in peace, and we won't tolerate this kind of alleged intimidation -- an action that goes against our very nature as a city.
"In addition, I want to applaud the Parma Police Department for their swift action and resolving this without incident.”