Crime Watch 8

Bloomington mosque vandalized; suspect arrested

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Police have arrested the man believed to be responsible for vandalizing a mosque in Bloomington early Monday morning and leaving behind a mess of damage.

Adam Walls, 32, was arrested Thursday and charged with institutional criminal mischief.

(Photo Provided/Islamic Center of Bloomington)

Leaders at the Islamic Center of Bloomington say they feel like their mosque was targeted.

Leaders of the mosque arrived early Monday morning to find nearly every area on the outside of their building had been damaged in some way after a man came in the middle of the night to wreak havoc.

While police haven’t identified it as such, the mosque leaders say, they believe they were victims of a hate crime.

Around 1:15 a.m. Monday, security video shows a man arrive at the center. For the next 45 minutes, he is seen destroying the property.

The surveillance video shows him attempting to destroy anything he can on property from the fence, to picnic tables, playground equipment and more.

The man even dumped trash cans over and ruined the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system by cutting and ripping wires.

Police were called to the mosque around 6:40 a.m. Monday to find the damage left behind.

The center sent a statement through Council On American Islamic Relations-Chicago, which shared photos of the vandalism: “This incident has sent chills down our collective community’s spine. We do not feel safe and feel that the threat, which we believe is a hate crime, has not been dealt with adequately. The lone perpetrator captured in security footage clearly targeted our mosque, not touching any other cars, property, or residences in the area.”

(Photo Provided/Islamic Center of Bloomington)

U.S. Rep. André Carson, an Indianapolis Democrat, commented on the damage in a tweet, saying: “I condemn this act of Islamophobia and expect those responsible to be brought to justice. Every Muslim, and every person of faith, should be able to practice their religion without fear of violence or intimidation.”

“We are pleased with the arrest and continue to call on the police department to investigate it as a hate crime, and file charges that reflect motive accordingly. The mosque was intentionally targeted with other non-mosque property and cars in the vicinity spared. The culprit attempted to skirt being caught, including by security cameras. The damages were significant and particularly violent. They knew what they were doing.”

CAIR Chicago