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Philadelphia mosque leaders try to sever hand of accused thief

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two leaders of a West Philadelphia mosque are accused of trying to sever a suspected thief's hand with a machete after he allegedly stole money from prayer jars.

The attack happened after a prayer service at Masjid Ar-Razaqq Ul-Karim on July 14.

Emir Mabul Shoatz, also known as Merv Mitchell, and the mosque's imam accused a 46-year-old mosque member of theft, which the member denied, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Mr. Shoatz and the imam allegedly carried the victim down a flight of stairs to the back yard of the mosque and put the victim's wrist on a log.

Mr. Shoatz then picked up a machete and "swung at his wrist, cut through his skin, and cut his tendons, but didn't make it all the way," Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The victim was treated at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital and will require reconstructive surgery.

Mr. Shoatz was arrested at the mosque Thursday night when police executed a search warrant. A two-foot long machete was found at the mosque.

Mr. Shoatz is charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, reckless endangering another person and related offenses, the affiliate reported.

The 35-year-old imam, whose name was not released, has yet to be found.

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