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February 28, 2023

Suspect arrested in vandalism of West Oak Lane mosque

Jonathan Boone, 47, allegedly spray painted 'Jesus Christ, 'John Christ' and a Star of David with an 'X' through it on the The Masjidullah Center for Human Excellence

Investigations Arrests
Arrest made Masjidullah  mosque vandalism @MASJIDULLAH/Facebook

Jonathan Boone, 47, who is suspected of vandalizing the Masjidullah Center for Human Excellence last week, was arrested Monday. Security footage showed a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a green hat spray painting religious messages on the West Oak Lane mosque Friday night.

A 47-year-old man was arrested for allegedly defacing the exterior a mosque in Northwest Philadelphia with graffiti.

Jonathan Boone is accused of spray painting the Masjidullah Center for Human Excellence with the words "Jesus Christ" and "John Christ," police said. He also allegedly painted a Star of David with an X through it just before midnight Friday. Boone was arrested with the help of security footage and a tip from his apartment building's manager, according to multiple media reports.

Video from the mosque allegedly shows a person, who police said is Boone, dressed in a dark, hooded sweatshirt and a green baseball hat. He gets off a SEPTA bus, crosses the street and makes his way to the mosque at 7401 Limekiln Pike. On the property, he looks into the buildings windows and then sprays paint on the doors and walls of the building.  

On Tuesday, Boone was charged with vandalism, trespassing, and possession of an instrument of crime.

"The message is haters lose," Krasner said Monday evening, according to WHYY. "If you want to go to jail, then mess with hatred, mess with churches, mess with good people in the community who are trying to do the right thing, and we'll find you a jail cell."

Philadelphia Police Captain Tanisha Richardson told media members that detectives were able to find out where Boone lived, spoke to the property manager of the location, and was able to identify him by showing his picture, leading to his arrest, 6ABC reported.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called for the vandalism to be investigated as a hate crime"All Americans should feel safe from harassment or intimidation at their houses of worship," CAIR-Philadelphia President Mohammed Zubair. 

The Masjidullah Center has been vandalized before. In 2019 rocks were thrown through the mosque's windows, causing $400 in damage.