PATERSON - A Passaic County man accused of throwing firecrackers at a local synagogue has been allowed to enter pretrial intervention by a judge.
Rizek Musheisen faces bias intimidation charges for allegedly throwing lit firecrackers at the Ahavas Israel Synagogue and yelling “Allahu Akbar,” an Islamic phrase that means “God is great.”
The judge allowed Musheisen to enter the pretrial intervention program because he is a first-time offender.
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Musheisen’s attorney says that his client is not a racist.
“It was important for me to know the true character of Mr. Musheisen. I represent to you that he is a good kid. He's graduated college, and he's going to be a teacher in life and he's on to better things in the future,” says attorney Harley Breite.
The Anti-Defamation League has condemned the incident and says that it is serious and troubling. The group says that people are feeling threatened and vulnerable.
The judge says that Musheisen must complete 18 months of probation and community service, and the case will be dismissed.