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Objects are being thrown at Islamic Center again

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 21:17:17-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It is happening again, tenants from the neighboring high-rise apartment throwing trash and glass bottles at the Islamic Center of Tucson below.

"It is glass bottles, aluminum bottles, there have been eggs," says Mahmoud Obagi, spokesperson of the Islamic Center.

He says there have been three incidents since students returned to school for the spring semester at the University of Arizona. Trash is being thrown from balconies on Luna, the high-rise apartment next door that primarily houses UA students.

This is the exact same situation Nine On Your Side first reported in October, 2014. Surveillance video showed glass bottles, food, pumpkins, and other trash showering the Islamic center from the same apartment building, formerly known as The Level.

Obagi says their main concern is safety. He says on Friday nights kids play basketball in the Islamic center's parking lot. In the most recent incident, Obagi says tenants tossed bottles from balconies seven or eight stories up and they landed just a few feet from young children playing below.

"One would have hoped that they had been taught before they moved out of their house that there is something inherently stupid about throwing a whisky bottle off the tenth floor," says Tucson Councilman Steve Kozachik. "It is criminal endangerment and they are going to be held accountable."

After the first incident in 2014, four students were evicted from the apartment complex. Obagi says that is not necessarily what they are looking for.

The Islamic center's main goal is not to get people evicted, we just want this to stop," he said.

Obagi says the Tucson Police Department know about the ongoing issue. A spokesperson from the department says they have no reports from the most recent incident which happened Friday.

The management group for Luna, GMH Capital Partners, learned about the issue this week. Over the phone, they say there is a "zero-tolerance" policy for actions like this. GMH says tenants are told not to throw things off balconies when they initially sign their lease, there is also language in their contract warning against it. Currently, the management group is reviewing their own surveillance video and say finding the tenant responsible could lead to a fine or eviction.

Students living in Luna say they think intoxicated students are the ones responsible. 

"Kids are drinking and they're stupid when they do that stuff," said Maddie Brandel.

"I think it's very disrespectful to the mosque, I think students should have more respect for other people's property," said Aria Shokrai.

GMH, Kozachik, and the Islamic center say they will work together to keep this from happening in the future. The management group says they will continue to re-educate new tenants when the move in each year.