A registered sex offender has been arrested after allegedly threatening Muslims at a California park over the weekend.
What happened: The incident occurred at Heron Landing Park in Rancho Cordova at around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Robert Avery, allegedly hurled racist remarks, tried to run over and threatened to “shoot and bomb” Muslim families in the area.
The aftermath: A video shows someone in a car driving erratically through the park’s walkways while fleeing the scene. No one was injured in the incident.
Suspect arrested: Avery, who was also accused of causing a disturbance at a liquor store prior to the park incident, turned himself in the next morning. He is facing felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats, as well as a misdemeanor hate crime charge.
About the suspect: California records show Avery is a registered sex offender who was convicted of annoying or molesting a child under 18. Police are investigating whether the Orangevale resident is even allowed to be near parks, which could result in additional charges.
CAIR responds: The Sacramento Valley/Central California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV/CC) issued a statement following Avery’s arrest.
“We thank local law enforcement authorities for their swift action in taking the suspect into custody and urge federal authorities to consider bringing hate crime charges for this apparently bias-motivated attack on members of a minority community,” CAIR-SV/CC Senior Civil Rights Attorney Layli Shirani said.
Avery is being held at Sacramento County Main Jail on a $125,000 bond.