A man who vandalized a Florida mosque by smashing windows and lights with a machete and leaving bacon at the scene pleaded guilty to criminal mischief to a place of worship.
The 37-year-old was sentenced as a habitual offender. Titusville police arrested Wolfe in January 2016 after the New Year’s Day vandalism. A surveillance video showed him smashing lights, cameras and windows with a machete. Bacon was left by the front door. Consumption of pork and pork products made from pork is forbidden in Islam.
37-year-old Michael Wolfe plead guilty to breaking into the Islamic Society of Central Florida Masjid Al-Mumin Mosque in Titusville in 2016 and leaving the meat, which is forbidden in Islam. Imam Muhammad Musri, who oversees a network of mosques in Central Florida. lauded the state attorney’s office’s effort to send a message to those who would target Muslims or houses of worship.
“The intent is to really deter similar kinds of hate crime. After what we’ve seen in Texas at the church, this is needed,” Musri said, pointing out that authorities stopped a plot this week targeting a Jacksonville mosque. “Our schools, our churches, our theaters, it’s a red line. It’s heartbreaking. The hate must stop,” he said.
Law enforcement officers also said there were smashed windows and ripped down lights.
The state attorney said the hate crime enhancement added to the vandalism charges, making it a felony.