Cops: Man Starts Fire at Store He Thought Was Muslim-Owned
It wasn't
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2017 4:18 PM CST
Richard Lloyd   (St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – Authorities say a 64-year-old Florida man tried to burn down a convenience store Friday because he thought it was owned by Muslims. It wasn't. The Palm Beach Post reports sheriff's deputies were called to a Met Mart in St. Lucie for reports of a suspicious person. Deputies say Richard Lloyd had rolled a dumpster in front of the store's doors and set it on fire, according to WPTV. He surrendered without incident, and deputies put out the fire.

Lloyd, who has been charged with arson, says he went to the Met Mart a few days earlier and became mad because there was a Muslim working there and also because the store didn't sell orange pineapple juice, TC Palm reports. According to authorities, Lloyd said he wanted to burn the store down to "run the Arabs out of our country" and do "his part for America." The sheriff's office says the store owners are actually "of Indian descent." It's unclear at this point if Lloyd will face hate crime charges. The store was closed at the time of the incident but suffered some smoke damage.

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