Woman Pleads Not Guilty In Park Incident Involving Two Muslim Men

A woman who was caught on video shouting insults at Muslim men praying in Lake Chabot Regional Park last month pleaded not guilty today to two misdemeanor counts she faces for the incident.

Denise Slader, 50, is scheduled to return to Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward on Feb. 26 for a pretrial hearing on charges of battery in a park and violating the civil rights of the two alleged victims in the Dec. 6 incident.

Judge Andrew Steckler also set an April 4 trial date for Slader, who worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation but has been placed on leave pending the results of an internal investigation.

Prosecutor Tim Wellman asked Steckler to set $10,000 bail for Slader because that’s the bail schedule for the two offenses she faces, but Steckler declined to set bail and allowed her to remain free on her own recognizance.

According to East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones, Slader approached the two men as they were praying by the volleyball courts near the park entrance at about 3 p.m. on Dec. 6.

Slader then got into a conversation with the men that escalated into an argument, eventually telling them, “Your God is Satan” and “the Koran is evil,” Jones said.

One of the men started recording her and later posted the video on the Internet.

According to the video, Slader told the men, “The people you torture are going to be in heaven. You are very deceived by Satan. Your mind has been taken over, brainwashed, and you’ve got nothing but hate.”

A park ranger tried to intervene and told Slater that she was being inappropriate, but Slader responded that it was inappropriate for the man to tape her.

Slader later allegedly attacked the man with her umbrella and threw coffee at him.

At a hearing last week, a judge ordered Slader to stay away from the man and to stay away from the park.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

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