CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Morton Grove man pleads guilty to shooting at mosque

By Brian L. Cox

2:24 p.m. CDT, April 23, 2014

A Morton Grove man has been sentenced to 30 months of probation and fined after he pleaded guilty to firing a “high-velocity air rifle” at a Morton Grove mosque during Ramadan services two years ago, court records show.

David Conrad, 53, of Morton Grove, pleaded guilty at the Skokie courthouse on April 18 to firing at the Muslim Education Center mosque, 8613 Menard Ave., in Morton Grove in August of 2012, according to court records. Police later confiscated a “high-velocity air rifle” from Conrad’s home, just east of the mosque, authorities said.

A guard was working security at the center at the time of the incident, where services were underway for Ramadan, when he heard a projectile hit the outside wall of the building, police said.

They said no one was hurt in the incident but officials said it was not the first time the mosque has been damaged.

They said other incidents went unreported.

On April 18, Conrad pleaded guilty at the Skokie courthouse and was sentenced by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Garrett Howard to 30 months probation and ordered to pay fines and fees of $799, court records show.

Firearm owner’s identification cards are required for those who own air rifles that shoot more than 700 feet per second, police said. They said the one Conrad used shot 1,200 feet per second.

Shortly after Conrad’s arrest, a judge ordered him to undergo an anger management evaluation and to stay away from members of the Islamic center, authorities said.

Conrad, who had worked for a tree business for 25 years, attended forestry school at Virginia Tech, according to minutes of a Morton Grove meeting on the village’s website.

Among his apparent complaints about the mosque were that it was built on park property and that trees had not be properly cared for, authorities said. | Twitter: @TribLocal,0,4460796.story