(WNY News Now) – Two men, Davious Kapinski and Robert Lawrence, have been arraigned for allegedly disrupting a religious service inside a Buffalo mosque. They face charges of Disruption of Religious Service and Harassment in the Second Degree.
Buffalo – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that Davious Kapinski, 31, and Robert Lawrence, 23, both residents of Buffalo, were arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Andrew C. LoTempio.
The charges against them include one count of Disruption or Disturbance of Religious Service, Funeral, Burial, or Memorial Service (Class “A” misdemeanor) and one count of Harassment in the Second Degree (violation).
The alleged incident occurred on the evening of Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at approximately 7:48 p.m. Buffalo Police responded to a 911 call reporting a disturbance at a mosque on the 1900 block of Genesee Street. According to reports, Kapinski and Lawrence entered the mosque without permission, disrupting a religious service and causing alarm and annoyance among attendees. Both individuals were apprehended nearby shortly after the incident.
Kapinski and Lawrence are scheduled to return on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. They were released on their own recognizance, as the charges do not qualify for bail. In response to the prosecutor’s request, Judge LoTempio issued a temporary order of protection on behalf of the complainant.
If convicted of the highest charge, Kapinski and Lawrence could face a maximum sentence of one year in jail.