An Ohio man has been accused of using Molotov cocktails to attack a church ahead of planned drag shows
Washington – The Justice Department announced Friday that a member of the White Lives Matter Ohio chapter is charged with attacking a church with Molotov cocktails in anticipation of a drag show that the religious community intended to host.
According to shipping documents, Aimenn Penny — who investigators say is part of a pro-Nazi, anti-gay group — admitted to using bottles of vodka, beer and petrol to target Chesterfield Community Church outside Toledo.
On the morning of March 25, prosecutors alleged that church leaders found burn marks on an exterior sign and the front door of their building, and a broken sign on the property. Church representatives told investigators that prior to the alleged attack, they had “received hate mail and messages containing unspecified threats of protest and violence against drag events.”
Unsealed on Friday, the criminal complaint says this isn’t the first time Penny has targeted drag events. According to prosecutors, on March 11, he attended a drag queen story hour “to distribute propaganda pamphlets representing White Lives Matter, Ohio’s anti-drag views of the drag queen,” and was wearing “a military uniform including camouflage pants, a tactical jacket, and a vest with a firearm patch on it.” “.
At that same event, according to the government, members of the White Lives Matter group “appeared at the event holding swastika flags and shouting racist and homophobic slurs and the words ‘Heil Hitler’”.
In October of last year, the complaint alleged that Benny told local police that African Americans were “the problem” and that he looked forward to “the next civil war between the races.”
Investigators say they were able to geolocate Penny’s phone to church property on March 25, in the early morning.
During an interview with the FBI, charge documents confirmed that the defendant told investigators that he was responsible for the attack on Chesterfield Church and that he “was trying to protect the children and stop the drag show event.”
According to court documents, “Bennie stated that night he became more and more angry after watching online videos of news feeds and drag shows in France and decided to attack the church.” “[He] He stated that he would have felt better if the Molotov cocktails were more effective and the whole church had been burned to the ground.”
Benny’s attorney was not immediately identified.
News of Penny’s targeting of the church comes days after investigators announced the arrest of a Wisconsin man for allegedly firebombing a Wisconsin government building, motivated by his pro-abortion views.
According to the FBI, on Mother’s Day 2022, Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury attacked the building with a mason jar, lighter and liquid accelerator which started a fire.
He was alleged to have written outside the building in graffiti “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you.”
This month, according to the Department of Justice, the defendant purchased a one-way ticket from Boston, Massachusetts to Guatemala, but was arrested at the airport before his scheduled departure.
Roychowdhary remains in custody and will be transferred from Boston to Wisconsin to face charges.