Man charged after disruption at West Chester mosque

Luke Michael Roberts, 37, of Elsmere, Ky., is charged with impersonating a police officer, criminal trespassing, attempted theft and disturbing a lawful meeting, all misdemeanors, for an incident Tuesday night, according to a West Chester Police report.

Roberts entered the mosque on Plantation Drive in West Chester Twp. about 11:25 p.m. and created a disturbance, according to the report.

After being confronted, Roberts allegedly said he was a cop and didn’t have to leave, according to police. When someone tried to call police, Roberts attempted to take a cellphone from him, the report states.

Roberts was booked into the Butler County Jail and posted bond. He appeared in Butler County Area III Court this morning in West Chester Twp. and his pre-trial hearing was continued until 8 a.m. July 5 so he could retain an attorney, according to court records.

Shortly after the June 12 mass shooting inside an Orlando nightclub, the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati said it had contacted regional law enforcement for everyone’s safety.

Ashraf Traboulsi, vice chair of the center, at that time told the Journal-News that during Ramadan, which lasts through July 5, there are nightly prayers at the center. He said it’s during those times when there is a “concern” for safety.

“We are going to take it up one notch,” he said last week of the center’s safety measures.

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