In yet another incident highlighting the dangerously growing trend of hate crimes in the United States, a Florida man tried to burn down a convenience store owned by Indian-Americans, thinking they were ‘Arab Muslims’.
“A 64-year-old man tried to set the store on fire because he thought the owners were Muslims,” St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara was quoted by the CNN.
The accused named Richard Lloyd confessed that he wanted to “run the Arabs out of our country” so he pushed a dumpster in front of the Port St. Lucie store and set the contents on fire.
Lloyd was charged with first-degree arson and booked into the St. Lucie County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.
The Sheriff Lloyd told the detectives he assumed the owner was Muslim and that made him livid because of “what they are doing in the Middle East”.
Lloyd told investigators he planned to burn the building because he “was doing his part for America.”
The sheriff also noted that Lloyd's mental health will be evaluated and the state attorney's office will decide if this was a hate crime.
Ever since the Republican President Donald Trump took office on 20 January, incidents of hate crimes are growing in an alarming rate.
Last month, Indian origin techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in an alleged hate crime in Kansas, as the gunman shot him dead thinking he was an “Iranian’.