PHILADELPHIA- WTXF - Philadelphia Police and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating a report of "meat" left outside the home of a Muslim man in the city's East Mt. Airy section. Bruce Gordon reports:
In these tense times and in this bizarre climate, any kind of a bizarre delivery to the home of a practicing Muslim gets the attention of law enforcement.
The peace and quiet of this neighborhood was shattered just after 7 a.m. when what appeared to be a slab of meat wrapped in a Muslim newspaper along with a piece of paper describing "women being cursed" were discovered on the steps of this midblock rowhome.
Erica Price lives here, along with her sons, which of whom, 25-year-old Tyree, is a practicing Muslim.
"I wasn't frightened, I wasn't offended, I just thought 'what is this on the step?"
"All the stuff that's going on with Muslims, the controversy and what's going on with it- I pray right next door to my house. I think it's a hate crime."
Philadelphia Police were called to the scene to investigate. Homeland Security arrived as well. Was this some kind of religious hate crime, or was it a hoax? Given tensions these days, neighbors didn't know what to think.
"Serious times. I don't know how authentic the case is, but it's a dangerous game to play," neighbor Elton Evans III said.
Erica and her son Tyree were taken away to be questioned by police, other officers secured their home while Homeland Security agents took the meat away to be identified. Theories ranged from a pork loin to a cow's tongue.
Neighbors looked on with a combination of fascination and fear.
"It's a horrible way of harassment, real horrible," neighbor Beverly Green said. "And the people are very nice."
By mid-afternoon, police were downplaying the idea of a hate crime, and leaning toward the theory that Tyree Price may have been the target in a domestic dispute.
But the only thing that was clear was the shock of it all, expressed by 8-year-old Baseer, who lives in the home, when he was questioned by police.
"I told them I didn't want it to happen again, can you get it over with?"