FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Stunned is the only way to explain the reaction when Denver7 showed the mug shot of 35-year-old Joseph Giaquinto to a man walking out of the building Giaquinto lives in.
“This was a guy that I used to hang out with like every day, and he never showed any signs of aggression whatsoever to anybody,” said Nathan Barnett, who’s concerned for his former friend. “We were actually really good friends. We stopped hanging out a few months ago.”
Denver7 learned Tuesday that Giaquinto confessed to the vandalism at the Islamic Center of Fort Collins, which caused more than $3,000 in damage. He was arrested Monday.
Giaquinto’s father said he can’t believe his son was arrested on the charges.
“First thought was, ‘I can’t believe this; I can’t believe that Joseph would do such a thing,'” he said. “He’s an eight-year Army veteran that traveled throughout Asia after his tours of duty and he managed to get through all of those different cultures without coming into conflict with them.”
Denver7 learned that Giaquinto spent eight years serving for the U.S. Army as a combat medic and also worked at Poudre High School in Fort Collins as a night janitor.
Others in the building where Giaquinto lives said they’re concerned for others.
"You worry about your neighbors because there’s a lot of people in this building that aren’t white, that aren’t naturalized citizens and are they at risk -- you know. the people that live on either side of me or across the hall,” said Mike Broadbent. “It’s sad that it happened and it’s especially concerning because it does concern a vet. And as much as we want to have for those guys, maybe we’re not doing the right kind of stuff, outreach, to take care of them if this is the kind of reaction that we’re getting.”
Barnett said Guiquinto had mentioned having PTSD from his time serving in the military.
Giaquinto’s father said his son was never violent or hateful toward others.
“The Joseph that I know is a considerate, gentle person. He really doesn’t have any violence in him and he served his country and he served his country well. He did it conscientiously and without any kind of incidents at all,” he said.
Giaquinto’s bond is set at $7,500. He will be back in a Larimer County courtroom April 4.