Mosque-goers pepper-sprayed, man bit during fight at Islamic Center
Mosque-goers pepper-sprayed, man bit during fight at Islamic Center | Upper East Site, Jim Henderson (inset top)

Mosque-Goers Pepper-Sprayed, One Man Bit During Fight at Islamic Center

Police say a fight that broke out at an East Harlem mosque, on the border of the Upper East Side, Monday afternoon ended with one man bloody after being bit while several others were pepper-sprayed during scuffle. 

NYPD officers arrested at 29-year-old assault suspect at the mosque | Upper East Site
NYPD officers arrested at 29-year-old assault suspect at the mosque | Upper East Site

A representative for the Islamic Cultural Center, located at East 96th Street and Third Avenue, told Upper East Site that the men had just finished praying when an argument began, which quickly turned physical.

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Investigators say that’s when a 29-year-old Brooklyn man pulled a bottle of pepper spray and used it indoors— affecting multiple people in the process— then later bit the 60-year-old he had been fighting with, drawing blood from the man.

NYPD officers leave the Islamic Cultural Center | Upper East Site
NYPD officers leave the Islamic Cultural Center | Upper East Site

Several ambulances were gathered outside of the mosque shortly after the incident, which police say all started just before 1:45 pm. 

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Paramedics rushed the 60-year-old victim to Mount Sinai Morningside in stable condition.

Multiple ambulances were staged outside the Islamic Cultural Center | Upper East Site
Multiple ambulances were staged outside the Islamic Cultural Center | Upper East Site

The commanding officer of the NYPD’s 23rd Precinct, serving East Harlem, was seen speaking with a representative of the Islamic Cultural Center outside the facility, after the commotion had calmed down— personally coming down from the station house on East 102nd Street to survey the situation.

Zachary DaVinci, 29, is now charged with assault and harassment, according to police, who add that their investigation is ongoing.

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