Man Who Rammed Mosque Gets 5 Years

CLEVELAND?A man was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for ramming Ohio’s largest mosque with his car six days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula sentenced Eric Richley, 29, of suburban Middleburg Heights, on burglary, ethnic intimidation and vandalism charges. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

He admitted driving a car up three steps and through two sets of doors of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, in nearby Parma. He smashed through a 3-foot wall, knocked over three pillars and landed on a fountain.

Prosecutors said Richley had told police that he was upset about the attacks and that his brother was in the military.

Richley was in court in a wheelchair because of injuries suffered in the crash. He broke bones in his back and both feet.

He denied the ramming was a case of ethnic or religious bigotry.