PATERSON — A 28-year-old man is accused of threatening the city's new police chief based because he's Muslim.

Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora was officially sworn in on Feb. 4, as the department's first Muslim American chief. Baycora also is a first-generation Turkish-American immigrant.

Stefan Keco of Clifton was arrested after sending threatening text messages with the intent of intimidating Baycora, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes announced Monday.

Keco was charged with two counts of third-degree terroristic threats, and one count of second-degree bias intimidation.

He was being held at the Passaic County Jail pending a pretrial detention hearing Wednesday, Valdes said.

“Our police chief has a very demanding job and the last thing he needs is for his life to be threatened," Paterson Mayor André Sayegh said in a Facebook post alongside a story about the arrest.

Sayegh added: "I commend our police department for swiftly apprehending the suspect and ensuring our chief's safety.”

Anyone with additional information about this incident can contact the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office on its tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or tips@passaiccountynj.org. or contact Paterson Police at 973-321-1120.

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