Landlord Charged with Murder and Hate Crime in Brutal Attack on Muslim Family

A 71-year-old man from Plainfield, Illinois, identified as Joseph M Czuba, has been arrested and charged with murder and hate crimes following a brutal knife attack on a Muslim mother and her child. The assault resulted in the death of a six-year-old boy and left the mother seriously injured.

According to the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the incident was reported by the 32-year-old mother, who claimed that her landlord had attacked her with a knife. Upon arrival at the scene, law enforcement officers discovered Czuba near the driveway of the property. Inside, they found the woman and her son, both suffering from multiple stab wounds to their chest, torso, and arms.

The Sheriff’s Office stated that their investigation revealed that the victims were targeted due to their Muslim faith and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East involving Hamas and Israel. Despite Czuba not providing any statements regarding his involvement, detectives were able to gather sufficient evidence through interviews and other means to formally charge him with numerous criminal offenses.

Czuba, who was the landlord of the property, was charged with murder, two counts of hate crimes, and other offenses. The young boy was rushed to a local hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. The mother, although in serious condition, is expected to survive.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the US, expressed shock and disturbance over the incident. They revealed that the landlord, expressing anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian views, broke into the family’s apartment and attacked them with a knife.

The mother, identified by CAIR-Chicago as Hanaan Shahin managed to call 911 during the attack. She reportedly ran into the bathroom and continued to fight off Czuba as she dialed for help. The organization also identified the deceased child as Wadea Al-Fayoume, who had celebrated his birthday just a few weeks prior to the tragic incident.

Upon their arrival, deputies found Czuba with a laceration to his forehead and transported him to a hospital. The mother and child were found inside the residence with multiple stab wounds. The child, initially reported to be eight years old, was later confirmed to be six.

Following his release from the hospital, Czuba did not provide any information about the attack. However, authorities were able to gather enough evidence to charge him with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and two counts of hate crime.

CAIR-Chicago has criticized the media coverage and official statements surrounding the incident, suggesting that they contributed to the atmosphere in which the crime occurred. The organization’s Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, stated that the crime did not happen in a vacuum.