DOCUMENT: Crime

Police: Death Threat Prompted By Pork Dinner

Muslim man accused mom of trying to "poison" him

JUNE 19--A Pennsylvania man allegedly threatened to kill his mother because he believed she tried to “poison” him by serving pork, “which was against his Muslim religion," investigators report.

Joshua Lee Coffey, 25, confronted his mother Sherri last week in the family’s home in St. Marys, a central Pennsylvania city.

Coffey accused his mother of “attempting to poison him,” noting that “the meat he was given to eat was pork, which was against his Muslim religion," according to a probable cause affidavit. A criminal complaint alleges that Coffey “did threaten to kill his mother…due to his displeasure with the dinner served to him.”

During the ensuing argument, Coffey allegedly threatened to kill his mother and her boyfriend (with whom she had been eating dinner in her bedroom).

At one point, Coffey went to the kitchen and retrieved a 10-inch kitchen knife. He then returned to the bedroom and “held the knife in a threatening manner,” prompting his mother to “flee out the window of the bedroom onto the roof.” Sherri Coffey subsequently called 911 and then went to a neighbor’s home to await the arrival of officers.

According to cops, Coffey held the knife to the throat of Mark Blair, his mother’s boyfriend, and threatened to kill him if his mother called the police. When cops reached the Coffey residence, they found Joshua, carrying the knife, in the backyard. After complying with an order to drop the weapon, Coffey was arrested.

Charged with simple assault and making terroristic threats, both misdemeanors, Coffey was booked into the Elk County jail in lieu of $5000 bail. He is scheduled for a June 25 preliminary hearing in District Court. (3 pages)