MERIDEN — Ted A. Hakey Jr. feared his Muslim neighbors. So much so that in a drunken state on a November night in 2015, he picked up one of his guns and fired several shots at the mosque next to his home.
On Saturday afternoon, Hakey faced his fears — members of Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque — and apologized for the fear and pain he brought to them.
“I was drinking that night more than I probably should have been,” he told more than 50 members and guests who attended a symposium titled “True Islam and the Extremists” at the mosque.
“As a neighbor, I did have fears, but fear is always when you don’t know something. The unknown is what you are always afraid of. I wish I had come knocked on your door, and if I spent five minutes with you, it would have made all the difference in the world. And I didn’t do that.