Man pleads guilty to hanging camel with noose on Muslim’s apartment door in Cleveland

CLEVELAND — A Middleburg Heights man pleaded guilty to putting a plastic camel with a noose around its neck on the apartment door of a Muslim person.

Christopher M. Sanford, 25, entered a guilty plea to interfering with housing rights of another based on the victim’s race, religion or national origin.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that on the morning of Dec. 1, 2009, Sanford took a plastic camel and a noose, and hung them on the door of the victim, identified only as A.F.A. The victim is a native of Jordan, who is Arab and Muslim, and lived in the Stonebridge Apartments in downtown Cleveland.

“The freedom of all Americans to live where they wish, without fear or threats based on their religion or race, is central to our way of life as Americans and Ohioans. This conduct violates those core values, values that we will continue to uphold through appropriate federal prosecutions,” said. U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach.

Sanford said he used the plastic camel because of the victim’s race and religion, Dettelbach said., 26 March 2012