Posted by: Lister | September 29, 2008

Chemical Irritant empties Dayton Mosque

It’s not clear what happened. In one article, the Dayton Daily News reported:

Someone “sprayed an irritant into the mosque,” Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

[…] Wiley said an adult and juvenile were taken to area hospitals and others had their eyes or faces washed on the scene. He did not know how many people were treated at the scene.

Ismail Gula, ISGD secretary, said people were praying during the weekly service when some in the audience began to cough and experience breathing troubles, then left the building. Once outside, several of them called 911, Gula said.

Another article from DDN says:

Officials from the Dayton fire department and HAZMAT have not determined what type of chemical was released during a Friday night service at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton center, 26 Josie St., according to Dayton Fire Lt. John Strukamp.

[…] Dayton fire emergency personnel were dispatched to the Society’s center at 26 Josie St., near downtown, about 9:45 p.m. on a report of a chemical irritant in the basement. When firefighters and HAZMAT personnel arrived, they noticed a bad odor, Strukamp said Saturday, Sept. 27.

HAZMAT officials reported to the fire department that “they had checked the structure for pepper spray, but nothing was detected,” Strukamp said.

So far there is no indication that the incident was the result of a hate crime, according to Dayton police.



  1. Some more detail in another report from DDN:

    The girl was watching children whose parents and relatives had gathered at the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., to celebrate Ramadan when she noticed two men standing outside a basement window about 9:40 p.m., according to police.

    One of the men then sprayed something through the open window and into the girl’s face from a white can with a red top, according to a police report. The girl said she immediately felt burning on her face and felt “sick to her stomach,” the report stated.

    Other children and a woman in the room felt affects from the chemical and the mosque was evacuated.

    “The men didn’t say anything to her (before she was sprayed),” Biehl said. “There was nothing left at the scene or anything that makes us believe this is a biased crime.”

    So what motive are they considering?

    Hazmat teams tested for more than 100 chemicals, including pepper spray, but all the tests came back negative.

  2. They’ve found a can of pepper-spray near the mosque. DDN:

    A can of pepper spray was found Tuesday, Sept. 30, near a local Islamic mosque evacuated Friday after a girl inside was sprayed with a chemical irritant.

    Someone found the black can of pepper spray in a white and red bag near the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, 26 Josie St., and called police, Lt. John Huber said.

    Detectives are trying to lift fingerprints off the bag and can, Huber said.

  3. I am glad they found the evidence. It just goes to show that even though the hazmat didn’t find anything doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

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