Notorious crane climber unretires to scale Goldstream trestle

“I told my mom I wouldn’t do this again.”

But he did.

Joseph McGuire, who said he was done with high-risk climbs after a series of injuries and arrests in Vancouver and Calgary over the past two years, traversed the bottom of a train trestle last week in Vancouver Island.

“I’m in semi-retirement. I’m not fully climbing. But I don’t do cranes or anything…I try not to do climbing that’s illegal,” said McGuire, who lives in Calgary.

“I was back in B.C. for a little bit, and I met this guy. He was into it, and he wanted me to show him what it was about.”

WATCH: The full video from the Goldstream Trestle

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The Goldstream Trestle Bridge is normally a leisurely hike on an abandoned rail line that crosses high above the Niagara Creek.

But occasionally, thrillseekers will walk along the tightrope steel beams under the track – including McGuire and Guy Montag last weekend.

“Joe has since quit climbing so this is a final farewell to the epinerein days for him,” wrote Montag in his description, alluding to McGuire’s YouTube channel that contains video of his climbs.

However, McGuire, who climbed Vancouver’s under construction-Trump Tower, and fell nearly nine metres trying to scale Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, says he’ll continue to do minor climbs.

“I used to do it every week. Now I keep it to once a year, maybe,” he said.

READ MORE: Free climber falls nearly 9 metres trying to scale Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Bob Beckett, Langford Fire Chief, says the Goldstream Trestle is 365 feet above the ground, and that any fall would result in certain death.

“It’s sending the wrong message for the youth in our community and for visitors coming out there. It’s somewhat irresponsible,” he said.

“There’s lots of beautiful climbing opportunities in Langford, lots of provincial parks in that…without taking those types of risk. To do climbing on private property is first of all illegal, and to do it without any climbing devices is potentially suicidal.”

McGuire is unapologetic, even though he said just three months ago that he’d “like people to re-evaluate their reasons for what they do–especially if they’re going to risk their lives.”

“I can’t disagree with [the fire department]…we just try our best to be careful.”

Bangladeshi police name attackers, all from ‘rich families’, in hostage situation

DHAKA, Bangladesh – Security officials searched on Sunday for evidence and the possible masterminds of the weekend hostage-taking in an upscale restaurant in Bangladesh’s capital. The government has denied the so-called Islamic State group’s claim of responsibility for the attack that left 28 dead, including six attackers and 20 of the hostages.

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Police released photographs of the bodies of five attackers, along with their first names: Akash, Badhon, Bikash, Don and Ripon. The men belonged to the banned domestic group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, or JMB, and their families hadn’t heard from them in months, according to police. Asked whether they might also have had links with the Islamic State group, Police Inspector General A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque said authorities were investigating that possibility.

READ MORE: 28 killed, including 6 attackers, during hostage crisis in Bangladesh

Despite the police saying IS links were being investigated, the home minister refuted the possibility that the Islamic State could have been behind the attack. Bangladesh’s government insists the extremist Sunni Muslim group based in Syria and Iraq has no presence in the country, and in the past has suggested that any claims of responsibility for violence waged in the South Asian country are simply opportunistic attempts at grabbing global attention.

“They are all Bangladeshis. They are from rich families, they have good educational background,” Khan said of the attackers.

WATCH: Bangladeshi forces stormed an upscale Dhaka restaurant to end a hostage-taking by heavily armed militants early Saturday, killing six of the attackers and rescuing 13 captives. The military said 20 of the hostages were killed. Jennifer Johnson has more.

The 10-hour standoff that paramilitary forces ended Saturday morning marked an escalation in the militant violence that has hit Bangladesh with increasing frequency. Most of the attacks in the past several months have involved machete-wielding men singling out individual activists, foreigners and religious minorities.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has blamed her political opponents of trying to create chaos by backing domestic militants.

“Anyone who believes in religion cannot do such an act,” Hasina said Saturday. “They do not have any religion, their only religion is terrorism.”

On Sunday morning, the first of two days of national mourning for the victims, police were blocking all access to streets near the Holey Artisan Bakery where the siege occurred. Investigators from both Bangladesh and Japan visited the restaurant to collect evidence.

WATCH: Video taken by a resident living close to the scene shows the fringes of the raid, where gunshots can be heard 

The 20 hostages who were killed included nine Italians, seven Japanese, three Bangladeshis and one Indian teenager. Two police officers were killed by the attackers, and 13 people were rescued when commandos stormed the restaurant Saturday morning. Another 25 officers and one civilian were wounded, though hospitals would not give fresh information on their conditions.

The attack was the worst in the recent series of attacks by radical Islamists in the moderate, mostly Muslim nation of 160 million. Unlike the previous attacks, the assailants were well-prepared and heavily armed with guns, bombs and sharp objects that police later said were used to torture some of the 35 captives.

An unidentified security personnel is taken for medical attention after a group of gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, July 1, 2016. A group of gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone of the Bangladeshi capital on Friday night, taking hostages and exchanging gunfire with security forces, according to a restaurant staff member and local media reports.

AP Photo

That the attackers targeted a popular restaurant in the heart of the diplomatic quarter of Bangladesh’s capital signalled a change in tactics. The restaurant overlooking a lake serves Spanish food and is patronized by residents of Gulshan, an affluent neighbourhood where most of the foreign embassies are located.

The hostages were asked to recite verses from the Qur’an, to prove themselves Muslim, according to a witness. Those who passed were allowed to eat. Those who failed were tortured and slain.

Western embassies issued travel warnings to their citizens, advising those in the country to be vigilant and avoid places frequented by foreigners in the diplomatic zone. The U.S. Embassy also urged its citizens and personnel to avoid travelling on foot or in open vehicles exposed to potential attackers.

In its claim of responsibility, the Islamic State group said its operatives had targeted the citizens of “Crusader countries” in the attack, warning that citizens of such countries would not be safe “as long as their warplanes kill Muslims.” The statement was circulated in a manner consistent with past IS claims of responsibility.

RELATED: 83 people killed in double bombing in Baghdad

The Amaq news agency, affiliated with IS, also published photos of five smiling young men, each holding what appear to be assault rifles and posing in front of a black IS flag, and identified them as the restaurant attackers, according to the SITE Intelligence Service, which monitors jihadi online activity. The men in those photographs appeared to match the bodies shown in police images of the dead assailants in the restaurant after the hostage crisis ended.

Amaq identified the five by noms de guerre indicating they were all Bangladeshis. It said the fighters used “knives, cleavers, assault rifles and hand grenades,” and had “verified” the identities of the hostages in order to spare the Muslims and kill the foreigners.


Associated Press writers Katy Daigle and Nirmala George in New Delhi, Ken Moritsugu in Tokyo, and Krishan Francis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, contributed to this report

Rookie Michael Salazar nets brace as Drogba-less Impact top Revolution

MONTREAL – Rookie forward Michael Salazar scored his first two Major League Soccer goals and Ignacio Piatti got one from the spot as the Montreal Impact posted a comeback 3-2 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday.

Montreal (6-4-6) picked up only its second win in its last nine games, although it is 2-1-6 in that span.

Kai Kamara, who has six goals in four games against Montreal, gave New England (4-6-7) a two-goal lead with a brace in the opening 33 minutes.

Montreal Impact’s Ignacio Piatti, second from right, celebrates with teammates and fans after scoring against the New England Revolution during second half MLS soccer action, in Montreal on Saturday, July 2, 2016.


The Revolution were on a counterattack when Lee Nguyen slipped a pass to Kelyn Rowe to create a three-on-two break. Rowe pushed it ahead for Kamara to go in alone and blast a shot past Evan Bush in the 18th minute.

Kamara out-jumped Ambroise Oyongo to nod in Chris Tierney’s corner kick in the 33rd. They were Kamara’s first two goals in MLS for New England since he was traded in May from Columbus – just after a May 7 game in which he scored twice against the Impact.

Montreal got one back in the 40th when Oyongo’s cross went into the air off Jose Goncalves’ foot and Salazar got his bushy mop of hair onto it.

Salazar got another in the 48th as he chested down a Hassoun Camara pass, turned and fired past Brad Knighton. He thought he had the hat-trick when Knighton fell back into his goal on a corner kick but it was ruled a goal kick.

Piatti was tripped in the penalty area by Knighton and made no mistake from the spot in the 54th.

Salazar, a 23-year-old Belize international, was drafted 24th overall by Montreal this year. He made his first MLS start among six appearances mainly due to a spate of injuries. He got a big ovation when he was subbed out for Johan Venegas in the 85th minute.

The Impact were without Didier Drogba, who is day to day with a leg or foot injury, midfielder Lucas Ontiveri, also day to day with a flu, and fullback Donny Toia and midfielder Marco Donadel, who may return next week from injuries. Centreback Laurent Ciman is due back soon after playing for Belgium at the European Championship.

The Impact are 4-2-0 without Drogba in the lineup this season.

Many in the crowd of 20,279 at Stade Saputo got to their seats late because the game started just as Germany and Italy were going to penalties at Euro 2016.

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Germany beats Italy 6-5 in shootout, into Euro 2016 semis

BORDEAUX, France – Germany ended 54 years of misery against Italy at major tournaments by taking a familiar route to victory: The penalty shootout.

Jonas Hector lifted the so-called “Italian curse” off Germany on Saturday by converting the 18th kick of one of the wildest shootouts in European Championship history, clinching a 6-5 victory and a place in the semifinals.

“I took my heart in my hand,” said Hector, Germany’s left back, “and just wanted to make sure it went in.”

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It did — but only just. Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon guessed the right way but dived over Hector’s kick. No wonder the 38-year-old Buffon walked off the field in tears afterward.

Euro 2016: 5 things to know about the soccer tournament

A cagey match between Europe’s two most successful soccer nations finished 1-1 after extra time, with Leonardo Bonucci’s 78th-minute penalty for Italy cancelling out a 65th-minute strike by Mesut Ozil.

After the tactical tedium came the shootout drama. Bonucci was one of seven players to fail to score in the shootout, with Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger also blazing over when he could have sealed victory with the score at 2-2.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer gave his side another sight of victory by saving Matteo Darmian’s penalty, and Hector held his nerve.

“I’ve never experienced a penalty shootout like it before,” Neuer said.

It was Germany’s sixth straight victory in a penalty shootout since losing the final of Euro 1976 to Czechoslovakia, and its first competitive win over Italy in nine tries dating back to 1962. That run included defeats to the Azzurri in the 1982 World Cup final and three major tournament semifinals — at World Cups in 1970 and 2006, and at Euro 2012.

Seeking to follow up its World Cup title from two years ago, Germany will play either France or Iceland in a semifinal match in Marseille on Thursday.

Italy’s loss ended Antonio Conte’s two-year tenure as coach and he heads to Chelsea in the English Premier League with a strong reputation after masterminding wins over highly fancied Belgium and Spain at Euro 2016.

“The only regret I have from this European Championship is these penalties,” Conte said. “Nothing else; no regrets. These lads really showed everything.”

One of his last acts as Italy coach was to embrace Darmian, who collapsed to the ground in despair after seeing Hector convert his penalty.

It was a fixture worthy of the final itself — Italy and Germany have won eight World Cup titles between them — but the game didn’t live up to its promise.

Dropping deep when not in possession, Italy’s defensive set-up stifled the Germans — another tactical success for Conte — and made for a contest of few clear-cut chances until Ozil’s goal.

Hector ran onto Mario Gomez’s inside pass and sent over a cross that deflected into the path of the inrushing Arsenal playmaker, who calmly steered the ball home from eight meters.

It was the first time the Germans had got behind Italy’s famed back line all game, but they couldn’t hold on. They finally conceded a goal at the tournament when Bonucci scored from the spot after Jerome Boateng handled Giorgio Chiellini’s flicked header.

Bonucci was a surprising choice as penalty-taker, considering he hadn’t previously taken one in regulation time in his career.

With both teams tiring and showing respect for each other, extra time passed without significant incident and Euro 2016 had its second penalty shootout of the quarterfinals — after Portugal beat Poland on Thursday.

As Germany, as ever, won the battle of nerves from the spot.

“It was the lottery of the shootout,” Conte said. “I think they’re the best side in the world. The fact we could match them is an achievement.”

Mats Hummels will miss the semifinal through suspension after collecting a second yellow card of the tournament.

Six-year-old girl nearly drowns in Lake Chestermere

Emergency crews were called to the scene where a young girl was found floating face down in the water at Anniversary Park in the Town of Chestermere at around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

EMS said bystanders pulled the six-year-old girl out of the water and brought her to shore. She was initially unresponsive but quickly came to and was able to speak with paramedics when they arrived.

Witness Julie Munch said a woman found the little girl.

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“She Carried her out and she was screaming for help. A bunch of people ran over. I saw her carry her out and she wasn’t moving. And then they put her on the ground and they were yelling if anyone knew CPR,” Munch said. “She managed to cough up some water and she started moving.”

“A Woman came over and got her in the recovery position. My husband called 911 and they came within a couple of minutes and she was OK when they came to pick her up.”

The young girl was taken to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in serious, but stable condition.

“She didn’t have a life jacket on.”

“I know that there are some security guards but there is no life guard. It is a problem,” said Munch. “If a child can’t swim and they are ingesting water, then you’re still going to end up with the same problem.”

EMS wants to remind the public about the following safety precautions, if you are spending time at a lake or waterpark this summer;

It is recommended young children / inexperienced swimmers always wear life jackets in and the around water.Do not use other floatation devices (rafts, tubes) without a lifejacket unless you are able to swim.Pay especially close attention to children.  Even in shallow water, loss of footing or other distractions may occur causing an unprotected fall into the water.A small child can disappear under the water in seconds and can drown in only a few centimetres of water – enough to cover the mouth and nose, therefore continual supervision is recommend for young children in and around the water.Small children are also the most vulnerable group for near-drownings.

At least 23 dead in Baghdad after bombs explode in crowded areas

BAGHDAD – Bombs went off early Sunday in two crowded commercial areas in, killing at least 23 people and wounding 61, according to hospital and police officials.

The bombings came near the end of the holy month of Ramadan when the streets were filled with young people and families out after sundown.

In the first attack, a car bomb exploded in the Karada district in central Baghdad, killing 18 people and wounding 45. Shortly afterward, an improvised explosive device went off in eastern Baghdad, killing 5 people and wounding 16.

WATCH: Suicide bomb kills at least 15 in Baghdad (June 9)

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The officials who provided the casualty figures spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in the Karada district in a communique distributed on Telegram and 桑拿会所, according to the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadi online activity. The communique said a suicide car bomber targeted Shiites.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the second bombing.

Nearly an hour after the attack in central Baghdad, ambulances could still be heard rushing to the site. An eyewitness said the explosion set off fires at nearby clothing and cellphone shops.

WATCH: Death toll in for car bomb in Baghdad rises to 63 (May 1

The Baghdad attacks come just over a week after Iraqi forces declared the city of Fallujah “fully liberated” from ISIS. Over the last year, Iraq forces have racked up territorial gains against IS, retaking the city of Ramadi and the towns of Hit and Rutba, all in Iraq’s vast Anbar province west of Baghdad.

Despite the government’s battlefield victories, IS has repeatedly shown it remains capable of launching attacks far from the front-lines.

READ MORE: Fallujah fully liberated from IS group, Iraqi commander says

ISIS still controls Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul as well as significant patches of territory in the country’s north and west.

At the height of the extremist group’s power in 2014, IS rendered nearly a third of the country out of government control. Now, IS is estimated to control only 14 per cent of Iraqi territory, according to the office of Iraq’s prime minister.

LGBTQ gun group Pink Pistols membership spikes after Orlando shooting

SALT LAKE CITY — Memberships have more than doubled in a national LGBTQ pro-gun rights organization since a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Florida, killing 49 people.

Pink Pistols Utah chapter President Matt Schlentz said Pink Pistols membership has grown from 1,500 to 4,000 since Omar Mateen’s June 12 rampage, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

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“It’s really sad that something on this scale had to happen for people to realize this is a need for our community,” Schlentz said.

“But the reality is, we still get attacked for kissing our partners or holding hands in public. We get windows smashed for having an equality sticker on them.

READ MORE: No evidence Orlando gunman Omar Mateen was seeking gay relationships, investigation sources say

Schlentz owns semi-automatic rifles similar to the Sig Sauer MCX that Mateen used and said he gets mixed reactions from people who learn he’s a gun rights advocate.

“Obviously, as a gay man, I have to have some liberal views socially. But on this one point, I have very conservative views. The reality is what it is — the world is a violent, terrible, scary place, and people do wish me harm based on who I love.”

Pink Pistols organized in 2000 in response to a series of violent incidents like the murder in Wyoming of gay college student Matthew Shepard. Some early slogans were “Queers bash back” and “Pick on someone your own caliber.”

WATCH: Transcript of 911 calls from Pulse Nightclub offer chilling timeline of Orlando shooting

Stonewall Shooting Sports of Utah is another pro-gun LGBT group.

“As awful as Orlando is, I feel like this is a huge eye-opener for a lot of people that the world is not a perfect place, especially for a group that’s at risk for this kind of violence,” said Scott Mogilefsky, the group’s president and an Army veteran.

READ MORE: RuPaul Charles reflects on Orlando, weighs Canadians on ‘Drag Race’

There was an increase in people inquiring with the group after Orlando, he said.

“Security should be armed at all gay nightclubs, and all employees should run through a defensive shooting course once a year,” Mogilefsky said. “When you think about supremacist groups, a gay bar is an easy target. And the shooter knew that. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.”

For the love of rodeo: Ponoka Stampede celebrates 80 years

For one week each year, the Town of Ponoka balloons to more than 10 times its size to celebrate all things rodeo.

“It’s something that’s a part of my life, and part of everybody’s life here. It’s fabulous,” Barrie Carter, a long-time volunteer with the Stampede, said.

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Carter was born into a Stampede family and this year its extra special. That’s because the Ponoka Stampede is celebrating it’s 80th anniversary.

“My grandfather, in 1935-1936, was one of the original four guys to supply bucking horses and stock,” Carter said. “I came to my first one when I was probably six months old because my mom and dad lived in Ponoka all their lives.”

The event grew from humble beginnings which included a two-day picnic, ball games and bull riding. Today it’s a week-long event with competitors vying for titles in several different arenas.

“We’ve got Bareback, Saddle Bronc, Barrel Racing, Tie-Down Roping, Team Roping, Wild Horse Race, Chuck Wagons, we got it all,” Blair Vold, Ponoka Stampede vice president, said. “The hotels are full, the restaurants are full, the shops and grocery stores. It’s a big thing for the town.”

The grandstand is sold out this year and there are over 3500 campers at the event. Organizers estimate over 80,000 fans will take in the week-long rodeo.

“It’s awesome to see the big crowds like this. The people, the atmosphere. There’s nothing better than this rodeo,” Cody Brett, a Calf-Team Roping Competitor, said. “This rodeo, in the CFR, it makes our whole year. If we do well here, it’s everything.”

“The cowboy way of life is sort of dying so as far as that goes, this is as important as it can get,” Carter said. “It’s part of our heritage.”

The facilities have gotten an upgrade in recent years with a new grandstand and corporate suites as well as a new track. But one thing that won’t change is the way the community embraces the event.

“I think it puts Ponoka on the map,” Carter said. “This is a sleeping giant that comes to life every year. It’s amazing.”

With files from Sarah Kraus, Global News.

Orlando Magic getting 4-year deal with Raptors’ Bismack Biyombo: source

Bismack Biyombo is on his way to Orlando to form a menacing new frontcourt with Serge Ibaka.

The Magic and Biyombo agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal Saturday, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because a contract cannot be signed until Thursday.

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Biyombo is coming off a breakout year in Toronto. His numbers don’t jump off the page – 5.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 blocks in a bench role – but he started to show more of the athleticism, toughness and shot-blocking instincts that caused him to rocket up the draft board five years ago.

Biyombo was the seventh overall pick in 2011, acquired by Charlotte in a draft-night deal with Sacramento. But he never was able to make a true impact in four years there, and some started to label him a bust.

READ MORE: DeMar DeRozan staying with Raptors

In this year’s playoffs, however, he was superb, helping the Raptors finally get out of the first round and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

When Jonas Valanciunas was injured against Miami in the conference semifinals, Biyombo started and was a force. He had 17 points and 16 rebounds in Toronto’s Game 7 victory. He followed that with 26 rebounds and four blocks in a Game 3 victory over Cleveland in the conference finals. He also had 14 boards and three blocks in Game 4.

Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri and coach Dwane Casey were holding out hope that Biyombo might take a discount to remain with the Raptors after they helped him get his career on track. But with big money already committed to DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, DeMarre Carroll and Valanciunas, they were fully expecting Biyombo to price himself out of Toronto.

Orlando acquired Serge Ibaka from Oklahoma City in a draft-night trade. He will play on one side of Biyombo, with promising small forward Aaron Gordon on the other.

READ MORE: NBA draft: Toronto Raptors select Jakob Poeltl with No. 9 pick

It remains to be seen what the Magic do with incumbent centre Nikola Vucevic, one of the better offensive centres in the game over his five years in the league. He averaged 18.2 points and 8.9 rebounds last season.

The Magic could keep Vucevic to give them a productive three-man rotation with Biyombo and Ibaka. Or they could try to trade him, continuing the makeover under general manager Rob Hennigan in a bid to better suit the roster to the style of new coach Frank Vogel.

It’s been a busy off-season for the Magic. They have retained swingman Evan Fournier, added free agents Jeff Green and D.J.

Augustin, traded for Ibaka and brought in Vogel after coach Scott Skiles’ abrupt resignation.

They have not been to the playoffs since 2012. Mixing defensive-minded veterans with a group of younger players like Gordon, Fournier and Elfrid Payton could change that.

Islamic group: Muslim man beaten outside mosque Omar Mateen attended

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Authorities said they have arrested a suspect in the early Saturday beating of a man outside a Florida mosque that Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had attended, and an Islamic group said the victim was a Muslim.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said racial slurs were made by the attacker, though authorities said they had no immediate indication of any racially motivated comments. Authorities said, however, that they were continuing to investigate.

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St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said deputies were called to the Fort Pierce Islamic Center at 4:11 a.m. Saturday by a caller who said someone was attempting to burglarize a vehicle. His statement said deputies found a man bleeding from the mouth who said he was approached by a man who “asked him what he was doing and then punched him several times in the face and head.”

READ MORE: LGBTQ gun group Pink Pistols membership spikes after Orlando shooting

Masacara added that the man left but an officer’s traffic stop minutes later halted a vehicle and the victim subsequently “positively identified the driver as the man who attacked him.”

The sheriff’s statement said a suspect identified as Taylor Anthony Mazzanti, 25, was arrested and has been charged with felony battery. Mazzanti was booked into jail on a $3,750 bond.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Mazzanti had an attorney.

Masacar didn’t identify the victim, but said he was treated for injuries at a medical center and released.

WATCH: Emotional eulogies at funeral of Orlando shooting victim who died shielding her son

The Council, or CAIR, issued a statement earlier that a white truck stopped at the mosque early Saturday and that a man had made slurs, saying “You Muslims need to get back to your country.”

Mateen’s father is among the roughly 100 members that attend the mosque. Ruiz said Omar Mateen sometimes attended Friday prayers but didn’t socialize with others.

Mascara said there was no initial indication of any such statements though he said more interviews would be conducted in the investigation. The sheriff’s statement also reported no possible motive or any apparent link to the mosque or those attending it.

“Interviews by the deputies and supervisors on scene and a written witness statement completed by the victim do not indicate any racially-motivated comments were made by the suspect prior to, during or after the incident,” Mascara said. “However, we are further investigating the incident and detectives will be interviewing the suspect, victim and (an) apparent witness that has now been identified by the Council of Islamic-American Relations.”

CAIR said there was a witness to the beating it identified as Abdul Rauf Khan, 43.

READ MORE: RuPaul Charles reflects on Orlando, weighs Canadians on ‘Drag Race’

Reached by phone by The Associated Press, Khan said he was driving from his home in Boca Raton when it was nearing time for morning prayers around 4 a.m. Saturday. He stopped at the mosque and saw the victim in the parking lot struggling to enter his car after locking the keys inside. He said a man approached, began punching the victim in the face and knocked out one of the man’s teeth.

“He just start throwing punches and saying all kinds of foul language,” said Khan, adding he called 911.

The Council statement said the sheriff’s office has repeatedly ignored pleas to tighten security since Mateen fatally shot 49 people at a nightclub two weeks ago. “Unfortunately, our requests were repeatedly ignored,” said CAIR spokesman Wilfredo Amr Ruiz.

Mascara denied that, saying in his statement Saturday that he and his agency “have repeatedly attempted to communicate with the mosque to explore options of working together and there has been no response.” He previously said deputies are patrolling the mosque more frequently.