LOWELL, MA — An area veterans group pledged to fill every seat in Babylon, a downtown Iraqi restaurant where owners feared hatred drove a man to throw a 20-pound rock through a window last Wednesday.
Instead, those veterans filled every seat twice.
Lowell police said they identified the man who threw the stone, and that he confessed. He will be charged in Lowell District Court, though police say his motive was not hatred.
“Unless this gentleman is lying to us — and I don’t believe that he is — he didn’t even know this restaurant was affiliated with people from Iraq,” said Lowell police Superintendent Kenneth Lavallee.
The suspect, a New Hampshire man who will not be identified until he is arraigned, will be summonsed to court to face a charge of breaking glass in a building, a misdemeanor.
Patrick Scanlon, a Vietnam veteran and coordinator of Veterans for Peace who organized the show of support, voiced skepticism that hate wasn’t involved, but said it was nonetheless important to show support for the family that had been hit hard by fear.
Scanlon was joined at 25 Merrimack St. by veterans of the Iraq war, such as former Army Sgt. Rachel McNeill, of Allston, who served from 2002 to 2010 and spent a year in Iraq serving on a gun truck that escorted convoys, and Chris Borden, of Chelmsford, who continues to serve in the Army Reserves after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.