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Suspect that allegedly threatened Denver mosque-goers with realistic-looking gun bonded out of jail

Posted at 8:34 AM, Nov 18, 2019

DENVER — The man accused of verbally threatening members of a Denver mosque and brandishing what looked look like a real rifle on Thursday was released from the Denver Jail just after 1 a.m. local time Sunday.

A female relative of Benjamin Casillas-Rocha, 24, posted a $1,000 cash bond, according to a jail official and court records. His bond was set at $10,000, but posting a cash amount allowed his release on $1,000, according to jail officials.

Casillas-Rocha reportedly pointed what appeared to be a long gun at four people outside the Masjid Al-Shuhadaa mosque on Thursday afternoon, according to a probable cause statement. The realistic-looking gun turned out to be an airsoft pellet gun.

The suspect had been at the mosque earlier in the day and was upset about losing his phone, which he believed was inside the building, police documents state.

An investigation revealed he returned to the mosque later in the day, under the influence of an unknown narcotic, and started yelling anti-Muslim remarks while pointing the rifle at the four victims. He left the vicinity after hearing police had been called to the area.

No one was injured.

Police later found Casillas-Rocha at his home. They arrested him on an investigation of felony menacing.

During a Saturday court hearing, a judge issued a protection order prohibiting the suspect from contacting alleged victims. The judge also ordered that upon release from jail, Casillas-Rocha will have intensive probation supervision, including having to wear a GPS tracking device. He’s also prohibited from possessing or attempting to possess a gun as a condition of his bond.

Police are investigating the incident as a bias-motivated crime. However, the district attorney has not formally charged him.

This story was originally published by Robert Garrison on KMGH in Denver.