A Bloomington mosque was placed on a temporary lockdown Friday after a man fleeing police climbed onto its roof.
Firefighters were able to get the man down safely from the roof of the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center and he was arrested, authorities said.
About 11:30 a.m. Friday, police stopped a car that had improper license plates, according to a police news release. The suspect fled his car and ran to the nearby mosque and school.
He climbed onto the roof and refused to surrender but was eventually brought down and arrested, police said.
Inside the mosque, worshipers were getting ready for Friday prayers just four days before Ramadan, according to Mohamed Omar, executive director of Dar Al Farooq.
The suspect tried to get into the building, but the mosque's doors can only be opened with a code, said Omar, who viewed security camera footage of the man. The suspect then went on top of a shed and climbed to the mosque's roof.
Authorities said the man had no affiliation with the mosque or school. Omar said police told him that the incident "had nothing to do with the mosque."
Mosque officials canceled two of three prayer gatherings for the day and the building was locked down for a couple of hours, leaving many arriving for worship confused in the parking lot.
"That sent shock waves to many community members," Omar said.
Mosque worshipers' fears were not without reason. In 2017, three men attacked the mosque, setting off a bomb. The attack was carried out by two anti-Islamic suspects who pleaded guilty. No one was injured.
"It felt like it was an attack," Omar said of Friday's incident. "Thank God nothing bad happened."
Alex Chhith • 612-673-4759