Police arrested 22-year-old Abdul Walid Hamid of Hayward on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 4, after he reportedly tore a crucifix from a person's neck and scared others at Stoneridge Shopping Center.
Hamid, an employee at a mall kiosk near Starbucks, has been charged with battery, terrorist threats and grand theft.
According to reports, Hamid was yelling "Allah is power" and "Islam is great" while holding a pen in a fist over his head. Witnesses said he shouted anti-Christian comments, said police.
Lt. Mike Elerick of the Pleasanton Police Department said the man was not provoked and didn't threaten violence, but he committed robbery when he grabbed and broke a crucifix off someone's neck.
Coworkers told police that Hamid's actions were out of the ordinary and that he had worked at the kiosk for years.
Police also said they weren't aware of a prior criminal history for the man.
"We had multiple people calling 911," Elerick said. "One female was crouching down and hiding from him. He definitely scared quite a few people."
Elerick said much of the man's speech was similar to the loud scene of the Christian activists who frequent downtown Pleasanton. The big difference, however, was that Hamid was on private property and had physical contact with someone.
"Mall management has the option of making a citizen's arrest on anybody and asking someone to remove themselves for any reason," he said. "If there was no physical contact between Hamid and the customers, with just his actions alone, the mall would have asked that he be removed."
Hamid was reportedly not cooperating and was arrested by force and taken to John George Psychiatric Pavilion in San Leandro for an evaluation. Police said the case would be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for review and possible charges.
Hamid was arraigned Tuesday morning at Alameda Superior Court in Pleasanton on charges of battery, grand theft, exhibition of a deadly weapon and a possible hate crime. Deputy District Attorney Ronda Theisen requested his bail remain at $27,000.
Calling it a bizarre case, Theisen also asked that Hamid, who is still in custody, be ordered to stay out of Stoneridge Shopping Center.
Through an interpreter, Hamid requested a public defender and was scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Thursday where he is expected to enter a plea.