Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dearborn Church Vandal Not a Muslim - Suspect David Cerne is Iraq War Vet with "Mental Issues," Was Charged in Previous ANTI-MUSLIM Incident

Catholic chapel fireworks attack suspect David Cerne in January, 2017 (inset: crude swastika graffiti he painted on the car of a Muslim man)

Four days ago I reported on the fireworks attack incident at the Adoration chapel of the Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn, Michigan.

A surveillance camera recorded the incident. I wrote that the man was "Arab-looking."

At the time, a suspect was in custody but his name had not been released.

Yesterday, police charged David Cerne, 42 or 43, of Inkster, Michigan with the attack. He is also charged with setting a Dearborn home on fire and is linked with recent vandalism incidents at local businesses.

My post implied that he might well be Muslim.

In fact, it turns out that the reality is largely opposite. A few months ago, Cern, an Iraq War veteran living on permanent disability with his father, had been charged with "ethnic intimidation," among other things, drawing swastikas and scrawling "Ni***r" on a car owned by a Muslim man. He also slashed his tires.

He wrote graffiti using the word, "Ni***r" in at least two other locations.

At the time (January, 2017), Cern's lawyer told a reporter:
He is addressing issues he may have regarding mental health. Hopefully we can put these allegations to rest and get him the help that he needs.
Obviously, he didn't get that help.

Cern would move on from anti-Muslim vandalism to anti-Catholic vandalism, with mischief at a party-goods store, a liquor store and old-fashioned arson thrown in for good measure.

Are these "hate crimes"? According to a detective:
"He is not targeting anyone specific or special," said Shafer. "This is just something he randomly went through."
Make of that what you will.

Of course, the fact that he seems to be an equal-opportunity targeter doesn't make things any better for those whom he targeted.

It appears to me that he's angry at people or life in general, and can't help himself from taking that anger out in malicious and physical ways (though in fairness to Cern, his attacks seem never to have progressed to outright assault).

As always, I could be wrong, just as I was wrong a few days ago.

Here is yesterday's report from Fox2Detroit, followed by a story on the earlier charges:
(WJBK) - Video inside the Divine Child church chapel in Dearborn led to fear and outrage after a man set off fireworks inside, burning a bible.
Police say the suspect, 42-year-old David Cerne, has a troubled history.
"He has 100 percent disability from the military," said Det. Brian Shafer, Inkster police. "We believe he's got some mental issues that are being dealt with right now."
Inkster police first came into contact with the Iraq war veteran last year in October. Cerne has been charged with third degree arson, malicious destruction of personal property and assault.
"In my interactions with him, he's always been very timid," Shafer said. "He appears to be maybe like an older child but he's very timid."
Records show Cerne in December was charged with 14 counts including ethnic intimidation and malicious destruction of personal property for spray painting cars with racial slurs and swastikas.
"He is not targeting anyone specific or special," said Shafer. "This is just something he randomly went through."
The court ordered a competency evaluation and Cerne was found competent and was released on bond.
"I know on that particular instance they were also trying to seek some help from the VA down at Third Circuit Court," Shafer said.
Neighbors in his west side Detroit neighborhood say Cerne lives there with his father.
One neighbor said he's seen Cerne throwing bullets into a neighbor's pool and another neighbor who doesn't want to be shown, says Cerne lit her garage on fire. Other neighbors are not surprised to hear about the recent incident.
"He didn't seem too friendly, he would just look at you kind of weird," said one neighbor.
Inkster police said last week on the same day he was seen in Dearborn, Cerne was also charged for attempting to set a home on fire near Spring Hill and Beach.
Police say a witness discovered what he was doing and Cerne was cooperative.
Now in custody back in court Wednesday, Inkster police say they're working with Dearborn and Detroit investigators.
"I don't want him to be a harm to people," Shafer said. "Nor do I want anyone to harm him. He served our country well and I think we should take care of him."
From Steve Neavling at Motor City Muckraker (January 9, 2017):
An Iraq war veteran accused of painting swastikas and racial slurs on a car, van and wall in Inkster was charged Monday with ethic intimidation and malicious destruction of property.
Prosecutors said David Cerne, 42, targeted Muslims living in an apartment building in Inkster. In one case, Cerne is accused of slashing tires and painting swastikas and the n-word on a car belonging to a Muslim man of Asian descent last week.
He’s also accused of scrawling, “Fuck you, N***er,” on a van.
Carne was in jail early Monday because he couldn’t afford the $150,000 bond.
His attorney Roman Ficaj suggested his client is mentally ill.
“He is addressing issues he may have regarding mental health,” Ficaj told Fox 2. “Hopefully we can put these allegations to rest and get him the help that he needs.”:

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