UA students throwing glass bottles at Islamic Center of Tucson again

Published: Jan. 21, 2016 at 1:32 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - For the third time since school started last week, the parking lot of the Islamic Center of Tucson has been littered with shards of glass.

Staff at the Islamic Center said they witnessed rowdy students laughing and yelling while throwing bottles down on the parking lot and roof of their building, which lies right at the base of a high-rise student housing complex.

It's been a problem for the past two years, but Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik said he thought they had things under control.

The former management company put out warnings stating they would fine violators up to $1,000, and actually evicted eight students who were caught in the act.

The building, called Luna, is now owned by GMH Capital Partners.

But the staff at the Islamic Center said a new batch of students are creating the same problem as before.

"Really, it just makes us wonder what they're doing. Is this because they're intoxicated or racial profiling? But really, we want it to stop. We don't want children getting hurt, others out here getting hurt, or them getting hurt by breaking or falling off the balcony," said Mahmoud Obagi, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Tucson.

He added that it is not just glass bottles.

The students have also thrown eggs, ice and trash from the high rise toward their building.

Sometimes he said, staff has heard them yelling racial slurs.

Kozachik said he plans to hold more meetings with the new managers of the building, and hopes they will hold the culprits accountable.

"Someone is going to get killed if they get hit with a bottle thrown from 10 stories up. Do I think this is racially motivated? I think it's bigotry in all it's manifestations. All signs point to it. We've had people flying Israeli flags outside their dorm rooms facing the Islamic Center, we are not seeing this problem at any of the other towers in that area," Kozachik said.

Tucson News Now visited the management office located inside the building.

A woman who spoke to us said "no comment" and gave us the number of the manager in Pennsylvania.

We have left messages by phone and email, and will continue to follow up with the company and find out how they plan to address this.

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