Mosque Leader Arrested in Machete Hand-Chopping

Police say a leader at a west Philadelphia mosque is under arrest after he was accused of trying to chop off the hand of a mosque member he suspected of stealing money from prayer jars.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports 46-year-old Merv Mitchell was arrested Thursday evening at the Masjid Ar-Razaqq Ul-Karim.

Lt. John Walker said Mitchell, the mosque's amir, and the mosque's imam after prayer service carried the accused man to a converted house behind the mosque where Mitchell lives.
There, Walker said they put the victim's wrist on a log and Mitchell chopped it with a machete, severing skin and tendons, but not the entire hand.

Mitchell, also known as Mabul Shoatz, was charged with aggravated assault and various other offenses.
The victim will require reconstructive surgery. Police plan to arrest the imam.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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