A Florida man, who mistakenly believed a convenience store was Muslim-owned, tried to burn it down to “run the Arabs out of our country.” The man, identified as 64-year-old Richard Lloyd, was reportedly mad at Arabs “due to what they are doing in the Middle East,” according to the sheriff’s office. Lloyd was in the store a couple of days earlier and became angry because they did not sell his favorite brand of orange juice.
Deputies were called to the Port St. Lucie store on Friday morning, according to WPTV.
“When the deputies arrived, they noticed the dumpster had been rolled in front of the doors and the contents were lit on fire,” Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said in a statement. “Upon seeing our deputies, the man put his hands behind his back and said ‘take me away.'”
Mascara said that Lloyd was read his Miranda rights, and then he “told deputies that he pushed the dumpster to the front of the building, tore down signs posted to the outside of the store and lit the contents of the dumpster on fire to ‘run the Arabs out of our country.'”
“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Lloyd made the assumption that the store owners were Muslim when, in fact, they are of Indian descent,” he added.
While in court on Saturday morning, Lloyd told the judge that he wants to represent himself. He’s currently being held at the Port St. Lucie County Jail on a first-degree arson charge.
The store owner said he’s in shock over the incident. He is not Arab or Muslim. He is of Indian descent. Not that that should matter at all. Thankfully, the store was closed at the time of the incident.
Following the U.S. presidential election, a wave of alleged hate crimes against Muslims, Hispanic Americans, black people, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community has swept over America.
Featured image via St. Lucie County Sheriff