NEW YORK — A New York City newspaper says it received an anonymous call from a person claiming to have discarded spoiled bacon in a park where Muslims had scheduled Ramadan prayers.
The caller said he was putting it out for seagulls and raccoons to eat, not as an anti-Muslim statement.
The message was left on a reporter's voicemail Tuesday at The Staten Island Advance.
The Staten Island Advance reports the caller said, "I had put the bacon there. It was going bad in my trunk and I put it out for the scavengers like the opossums and the raccoons and sea gulls, and I did not intend for that to cause anybody any problems.
The caller said, "It was not any ... anti-Muslim act, and I did not want to offend anybody."
The NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. It was informed of the call but declined to discuss it.
Three packages of bacon were found Sunday in a section of the New Dorp Beach park.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the NYPD was also investigating an anti-Muslim internet posting regarding the event.
In a statement obtained by The Journal, the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the internet posting read, "I am going to walk my pet pig and i am gonna let him (defecate) ....just in time for morning prayers."
Muslims are barred from eating pork because pigs are considered unclean.