January 05, 2016
Authorities in the southern state of Florida have arrested a man accused of vandalizing a mosque with a machete and leaving pork products at the scene.
Michael Scott Wolfe, 35, was arrested Monday in Titusville, Florida. He is being charged with criminal mischief of a religious building, a third degree felony. It is unclear whether he will be charged with a hate crime, which carries stiffer penalties.
Authorities said on the evening January 1, Wolfe broke into the Islamic Society of Central Florida Masjid Al-Munin Mosque and used a machete to smash windows, lights and cameras on the property.
He is also accused of placing bacon and other pork products, which is prohibited in Islam, around the front door.
His arrest comes amid a recent increase in vandalism at mosques across the country. Last month, vandals spray painted graffiti at mosques in Florida and in California. Also, federal authorities are investigating whether a fire at a mosque in Texas was intentionally set. No one was injured in the December blaze. Officials say the fire had «multiple points of origin,» which is an indicator that a fire accelerant may have been used.