The emir of a Philadelphia mosque was thrown in jail after police said he and the mosque's imam tried to cut off a man's hand with a 2-foot machete, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
A prayer service had just ended at the Al-Masjid Ur-Razzaq Ul-Karim mosque Monday morning when Merv Mitchell, the mosque's emir — along with the mosque's imam, whose name was not released — confronted a man who usually helps organize prayer services, said police Lt. John Walker.
Mitchell and the imam accused the 46-year-old man of stealing jars of money from the mosque, Walker said. The man denied the accusation, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Police said he was dragged down a set of steps in the building to the back yard.
"They threw the victim to the ground and held his right arm against a log," Walker said. "One of the offenders grabbed a machete from inside the mosque, and struck the victim near his wrist. The blade cut through some of his tendons."
The victim was treated at a hospital and later released, though the Inquirer said he needs reconstructive surgery.
Walker said investigators secured a search warrant for the mosque on Thursday and found the machete used in the attack. WPVI-TV reported it was 2-foot machete.
Mitchell, 37, has several aliases, including Mabul Shoatz. He was charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and related offenses, Reuters noted.
More from the Daily News:
Court records show that Mitchell has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for robbery, theft, burglary and carrying a firearm without a license. [...]
According to city records, the mosque's owner, Nothinne Mabul Mitchell, owes $80,326 in back real estate taxes.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections deemed the property unsafe in May 2013, and issued violations for a partially collapsed wall, roof and ceiling.
Walker said police would obtain an arrest warrant for the imam, who is 35, the Inquirer noted.