A Florida man was arrested Thursday while trying to burn down his condo building in what he said was an effort to “kill all of the f****** Jews,” ABC News reports.
The suspect, 72-year-old Walter Stolper, had a cache of containers filled with gasoline, potassium nitrate and sulfur powder. Police also found a gun and Nazi reading material with swastikas belonging to him, according to the Miami Herald.
When officers responded to the complex, Stolper had already poured gasoline down a garbage chute and had planned to use fans to spread the fire. He also had placed gas containers on various floors and was in the process of moving containers in a shopping cart when officers found him.
After police read him his Miranda rights, Stolper claimed the gasoline was merely “to make a small BBQ.”
Stolper, who had intended to place padlocks on the facility’s fire hoses to thwart firefighters, had reportedly been served an eviction order. He had previously voiced anger toward other condo residents multiple times.
“His motivation appears to be triggered by an upcoming eviction and anger towards Jewish neighbors,” Miami Beach police tweeted Friday.
1/2 – MBPD has arrested 72yr old, Walter Stolper. Stolper is charged w/ 1st Degree Attempted Arson after dumping several gasoline filled containers down a trash chute. His motivation appears to be triggered by an upcoming eviction and anger towards Jewish neighbors. pic.twitter.com/WsvRSRzCaT
— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) July 13, 2018
Authorities said they believe they “averted a tragedy” in arresting Stolper, whom a police spokesman called a “very dangerous guy.” He has been charged with attempted murder and is being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami.
In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League thanked law enforcement for their quick action.
“We commend the Miami Beach Police Department, led by Chief Daniel J. Oates, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for taking this tip seriously, and for the swift investigation which undoubtedly thwarted a potential mass-casualty event,” Sheri Zvi, ADL Florida regional director, said in a written statement.
The ADL added, “Based on available public information about the incident, we urge the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to take a hard look at reclassifying and prosecuting this incident as a hate crime.”
[Feature Photo: Walter Stolper/Miami Beach Police]