A 22-year-old man charged with spray-painting racist messages on a Moorhead mosques said he did it to "get a reaction."
Benjamin Enderle, of Moorhead, has been charged with 2nd-degree criminal damage to property and harassment with bias in connection with the damage caused to the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center mosque, which was discovered early Sunday morning.
The N-word, "Death to Islam," and a Swastika were among the messages daubed on the building.
Enderle was arrested after Moorhead PD received a tip from an employee of the Walmart in Dilworth, Minnesota, which showed a man matching his description buying the red spray paint that police believe was used on the mosque.
Police were able to identify the vehicle the suspect left in and were able to get a copy of the receipt and payment method used at Walmart, tracing the account and vehicle to Enderle.
When he was questioned by police, Enderle claimed he graffitied the mosque "as a joke," according to the criminal complaint against him, before adding that he doesn't "hate them."
"He further stated he did it to get a reaction from the community and the media," the complaint says, and further says he acted alone.
The incident has sparked the Council of American-Islamic Relations Minnesota to call for authorities to seek federal hate crime charges against Enderle.