Attorney: Client accused in Islamberg plot ‘autistic’ and ‘had no intent of harming people’

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2:45 P.M. UPDATE:

GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — Three of the four people charged with plotting a bomb attack against a Muslim community in Hancock last month appeared in a Rochester-area court Tuesday.

Police in Greece say they found 23 firearms and three improvised explosive devices in their investigation that were intended to be used on Islamberg. Three adults and a minor are facing charges of criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy.

According to a report by CBS-affiliate WROC, 18-year-old Andrew Crysel was the only one to post bail on Tuesday.

WROC reports that Crysel’s attorney says his client is autistic and he had no intent of harming people, despite what many have seen online of his client playing with airguns. His case has been referred to a grand jury and the district attorney’s office says more charges could be added.

“There’s always the possibility of additional charges in this matter when it’s presented to the grand jury. The grand jury could be asked to consider any charges that fits the evidence,” said Assistant DA Matthew Schwartz.

“A number of YouTube videos where, I believe there are 60 of them total, with one or more of the defendants charged in this case,” said Jason Housel, attorney for Andrew Crysel. “My client, I believe, is in four. But I’ve only seen three and one of them he’s holding an airsoft gun. Another one, a BB gun and another one, a .22, which he can barely even load. So, that’s obviously something that’s caught a lot of attention in the nature of this case.”

Two of the others charged, 19-year-old Vincent Vetromile and 20-year-old Brian Colaneri, were also in court Tuesday. Their attorneys and family did not comment. The two are scheduled to appear in Greece Town Court next Monday for a preliminary hearing.

A 16-year-old boy also has been charged as an adolescent offender. The DA’s office says that case is being handled in family court.


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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The case of one of three men accused of plotting to attack a Delaware County Muslim community is headed to a grand jury.

The three men appearing in town court Tuesday in suburban Rochester are accused of planning to attack the rural community of Islamberg in Hancock with explosives. They were arrested last month on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy.

Related: Muslims of America responds to uncovered bomb plot against Islamberg

The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports that the case against 18-year-old Andrew Crysel was waived to a grand jury. Preliminary hearings for 19-year-old Vincent Vetromile and 20-year-old Brian Colaneri were scheduled for next week.

A 16-year-old boy also has been charged as an adolescent offender.

Crysel had no comment as he entered court with his lawyer.

Lawyers for Vetromile and Colaneri did not immediately respond to phone messages.

*The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related: Police: Three homemade bombs, nearly two dozen firearms seized in plot against Muslim community in Hancock

PHOTO (L to R): Vincent Vetromile, Brian Colaneri, Andrew Crysel. The identity and picture of the 16-year-old youthful offender has not been released.

WBNG Staff

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