Colorado Man Convicted of Hate Crime Against Mosque Kills Himself

Joseph Giaquinto (CBS Denver screenshot)

A Colorado man who pleaded guilty to a hate crime against a mosque killed himself this past weekend, CBS News reports.

Joseph Giaquinto, a 36-year-old former Army medic, was found dead on Saturday at a Motel 6, according to The Coloradoan.


Giaquinto attacked the Islamic Center of Fort Collins in March, overturning outdoor furniture and throwing rocks through the center’s windows. He also lobbed a Bible through the broken glass and into the mosque’s prayer hall.

He pleaded guilty and was convicted last month on felony criminal-mischief and hate crime charges. On Thursday, Giaquinto was sentenced to three years of wellness court and six months of work release.

CBS Denver previously reported that Giaquinto received the wellness-court sentence in lieu of jail time so that he could get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. His counsel also claimed that Giaquinto abused alcohol.


Despite his guilty plea, Giaquinto claimed that his attack wasn’t a hate crime but a crime of convenience, since he lived close to the mosque. Of course, it’s unclear how his feelings about Islam didn’t motivate the choice to throw a Bible through a mosque’s window, but Giaquinto maintained this even at his sentencing hearing.

Tawfik Aboellail, president of the Islamic center, released a statement sharing his condolences to Giaquinto and his family, The Coloradoan reports.


“As our prophet taught us by example, we grieve the loss of Mr. Giaquinto’s life as we sincerely hoped he would have gotten the help he needed and deserved,” Aboellail said. “Our thoughts are with his family and we hope that they might find peace and comfort.”

Read more at CBS News and The Coloradoan.

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Anne Branigin

Staff writer, The Root. Sometimes I blog slow, sometimes I blog quick. Do you have this in coconut?