Bail hearing Thursday for Kirkland man charged with uttering threats against Muslims
Published Wednesday, February 1, 2017 7:05AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 2, 2017 9:07AM EST
A 45-year-old man charged with making anti-Muslim threats online will remain in jail until a bail hearing.
Antonio Padula has been charged with inciting hate and making death threats on a Twitter page.
Appearing in the Montreal courthouse Wednesday afternoon, the Crown recommended he be denied bail. A full bair hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Thursday, when a court date will also be set.
'I'm not going to handle a night over here,” he said in court, fighting tears.
If convicted, Padula could be sentenced to more than a year in jail.
The Sureté du Quebec spotted the threats against Muslims living in the province and tracked them to a home in Kirkland, a suburb in the city's West Island.
Constable Raphael Bergeron said the SQ then notified Montreal police.
"Obviously we're not going to go through all the details on how we were able to get that information, because it's part of the investigation and the investigation technique," he said, adding that he was interviewed by police about alleged “hateful comments that he posted on social media platform during the evening yesterday."
Montreal police obtained a warrant and arrested the man late Tuesday evening without incident.
"Computers and the man's mobile phone were seized in the residence," Bergeron said.
Bergeron said the suspect was interrogated overnight.
He was met by investigators “to get his version regarding the material posted on social media,” he said.
Police said he does not have a criminal history, and did not have any firearms at his home.
Neighbours on Shediac St. said they did not know the man very well, were aware he had two dogs, but said they saw his wife and children more often.
"It is sad that it is right here," said neighbour Dave Shapiro. "I guess the one thing that I would say is if they stereotype Muslims to be bad people, I hope they don't stereotype all of us to be like (the accused)."
Earlier this week Montreal police said there had been a spike in the reports of hate crimes and hate incidents in the days since a terrorist attack at a mosque in Quebec City that killed six people.
“There are no words to qualify this kind of statement,” said Concordia professor Andre Gagné, an expert in religious extremism. “A lot of people don't make any differences between what's happening with extremist jihadist groups and people who worship in mosques.”