Aimenn D. Penny, 20 years old, was apprehended due to an alleged firebombing of a church using a Molotov cocktail to prevent a drag queen show. The story hour for children has been halted since this incident occurred, where it was held at the Community Church of Chesterland (UCC) in Chesterland, Ohio, last March 25.
Penny was apprehended and has been taken into custody on Friday. The offender in issue was additionally charged with possessing a harmful device and one count of using explosives improperly. These crimes have a specific number of years of sentence to serve in prison
Man Arrested for Attempted Arson, May Serve Sentence in Prison if Found Guilty
According to Fox News, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler for the Northern District of Ohi said that using violence and destruction to protest a particular viewpoint is unacceptable. He also emphasized the essence of the peace agreement and the protection of citizens' right to freedom of speech peacefully, and the U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to protecting this right.
The arrest of the said suspect was made possible through the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Cleveland Joint Terrorism Task Force and also with the help of the Chester Township Police Department. Gregory Nelsen, special agent in charge of the FBI Cleveland Field Office, thanked the Lake and Geauga County authorities for their help and applauded the effective cooperation amongst the law enforcement agencies involved in the arrest.
If Penny is decided guilty, he will face a minimum sentence of five years in prison for the malicious use of explosive materials and up to ten years for possession of a destructive device. According to the report in Christian Post, the Community Church expressed their gratitude to the authorities through Facebook and thanked them for their assistance in providing more security for the story hour event, which was held the following Saturday.
The church acknowledged the importance of the several police cruisers, "swat-style" vans, and tactical mobile unit from the nearby Chagrin Falls, which would have dissuaded any prospective threats. The church claimed that their team's planning efforts and the support of law enforcement contributed to the day's success and love and joy.
Also, in an earlier message, the Community Church expressed their forgiveness towards the criminal. Still, they believe that he should face the consequences of his actions and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The church added that this would serve as a voice to others with the same intentions and that the groups that use violence as means of force to promote any agenda are unacceptable and criminalized today.
Community Church Expressed Thanks as Donation Flooded, Promises to Continue Doing These Events
According to the article in Insider, following the threats of violence, the Community Church reportedly received enormous support and money, according to Pastor Peacock, who used they/them pronouns. They said the church remains steadfastly dedicated to holding LGBTQ-welcoming activities, especially in light of the triumphant staging of the county's first Pride celebration last summer.
Peacock emphasized the significance of such occasions, saying that the encouragement and support from so many people had been cheering and greatly appreciated.