The NYPD is investigating raw bacon left at a Staten Island field where Muslims were about to gather for an end-of-Ramadan celebration as a hate crime, but an anonymous caller to the Staten Island Advance (which broke the story) claims it wasn't hateful at all. In fact, the caller claims he was just trying to be nice to some animals.
The message, which was left last night, said, "Hi, Deborah. [The caller is referring to Advance news reporter Deborah Young.] This is-- I was reading the article about the horrible incident of bacon and Muslims in the park and I wanted to let you know that is not my intention... I had put the bacon there. It was going bad in my trunk and I put it out for the scavengers like the opossums and the raccoons and sea gulls, and I did not intend for that to cause anybody any problems... It was not any (inaudible) anti-Muslim act, and I did not want to offend anybody in way. Thank you and have a good day."
The raw—apparently ROTTING—bacon was left on New Dorp Beach's John D'Amato Field, where Muslims had been gathering. The Advance reports, "One person who saw the bacon said it was found deep into the athletic field, and at least 50 feet or 60 feet away from any roadway, and a photo of the bacon shows it close to the painted lines of the soccer field. The end-of-Ramadan ceremony, which drew 1,500 worshipers, to the field, was widely publicized in the days leading up to the event."
The NYPD hasn't commented about the voicemail claiming the bacon was just an innocent gift. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had previously said, "This has been determined to be a bias event on the part of our Hate Crimes Task Force," noting that hateful comments referring to the incident were found on a website, "I am going to walk my pet pig and I am gonna let him take a nice, fat dump ....just in time for morning prayers."