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Police: Deer Park man arrested for making terroristic threats at Nassau church, spa

Earlier this summer Besart Astafa was arrested at a Farmingdale mosque for allegedly running around naked and punching a touch-screen tablet, causing $2,000 in damage.

Cecilia Dowd

Aug 16, 2023, 9:15 AM

Updated 310 days ago


A Deer Park man has been arrested for allegedly making terroristic threats at least twice in Nassau County.
Police tell News 12 Besart Astafa walked into a spa on Hempstead Turnpike in South Farmingdale on Tuesday.
Astafa yelled “Allahu Akbar” and said that he had a bomb while reaching into his shirt, according to court documents.
While individuals tried to subdue him, he is accused of biting one of them and spitting blood into a victim’s face.
After an investigation, detectives learned the 28-year-old was responsible for a similar incident over the weekend.
News 12 has been told Astafa also went to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Plainview, saying he wanted to be baptized.
Court documents say he punched in the direction of two victims, striking one in the stomach. Court documents also say Astafa lifted a large bag with unknown objects and said, “I’m a terrorist, I’m a terrorist.”
Prosecutors say Astafa called himself Lucifer.
Earlier this summer, he was arrested at a Farmingdale mosque for allegedly running around naked and punching a touchscreen tablet causing $2,000 in damage.
Following the arrest, police say he went back to the same mosque where he was once again found naked and arrested.
At his arraignment Wednesday, Astafa was held on $150,000 cash bail.
Astafa’s attorney, William Jaye, says his client put in a denial of the charge and pleaded not guilty.
“We have agreed to a mental health evaluation,” Jaye says
Astafa was also charged in a July incident, accused of damaging a car at a Plainview home.
Orders of protection for multiple victims related to the incident were issued.

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