Police are searching for a man who set a store on fire on Friday night in Charlotte, North Carolina. Authorities are treating the incident as a hate crime after the suspect left behind a sign that read, “White America.”
WBTV reports that the suspect, described as a black male, 5-feet-8 inches tall and weighing around 200 pounds, set the fire right before 10 p.m. at a Nepali Indian store in Central Market. The suspect was wearing a grey hoodie under a black jacket, light-colored jeans, and black shoes. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department stated that the suspect threw a rock through the front door before leaving the hateful note by the entrance.
“A note was also left at the scene near the door that stated the suspect did not want any refugee business owners and that they would torture the owner if they did not leave and go back to where they came from. The suspect signed the letter ‘White America.'”
Detectives are asking for the public's assistance in identifying this suspect who is wanted for Arson at the Central Market business. pic.twitter.com/eKKq3yEjzW
— CMPD News (@CMPD) April 7, 2017
The store owner, Kamal Dhimal, of Bhutan, became an American citizen last year. He said he was in a refugee camp for 20 years before moving to U.S., and that he refuses to be frightened off.
“Too many people have helped me, and I gotta be strong to continue doing business in this country….We need more safety and more security as business owners.”
Dhimal also pleaded for people to understand his struggles to get to the U.S., and how he’s now helping give back to the country.
“If they want to know about refugees and immigrants and our backgrounds, they need to come to us and listen to us. We can explain to them how we help this country, how we give back to this country.”
No one was injured during the incident. Anyone with any information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
[Feature Photo: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department]