Monday, October 6, 2008

Austin Man Arrested for Threats to Local Mosque

When I was considering the topic that should begin my blog posts for this week, my first instinct was to write about the play of the Houston Texans yesterday. If that collapse in the last four minutes against the Colts does not constitute criminal activity, I'm not sure what would qualify. However, I will cut the team some slack and let the radio call-in shows take care of the criticism over the next several days. Instead, I will focus on a much more serious story that developed Sunday evening in Austin. A man was arrested and his backpack detonated after he made threats against a local mosque.

Azzam Baytie has been described by police as "emotionally disturbed" and led credence to that diagnosis with his pledged intent to do damage to the North Austin Muslim Community Center. When his traveling shoulder tote was put through an x-ray machine, electronic parts were discovered and it was destroyed just in case the wires constituted something more than an iPod or extra guitar strings. The details in this case are still developing, so it's unclear as of this writing whether or not Baytie's threat had real reason for concern.

Mr. Baytie is facing charges of criminal trespassing and a terroristic threat. Concerning the latter charge, it is determined by the threat to "commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, or place of assembly."

While we may not be able to help Mr. Rosenfels on the football field, at Bertolino LLP we do have experienced criminal defense attorneys who can provide legal assistance with any charges you may be facing. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio offices to discuss your case today.

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