Miami Beach Man Could Face Hate Crime, Terrorism Charges

The state attorney's office is investigating whether an attempted arson at a Miami Beach condominium complex will be considered a hate crime or possibly terrorism.

Miami Beach police received a tip last week that 72-year-old Walter Stolper was planning to burn down The Pavilion residences on Collins Avenue after having recently been served with eviction papers.

A security guard told police that Stopler made a comment that he was going to burn down his apartment and "every Jew in the building". 

When police arrested Stolper last Thursday, they said he had already started pouring gasoline down the garbage chute. 

Police said they also found more than two dozen additional containers of gas in a storage room belonging to him, along with sulfuric powder and sodium nitrate -- a chemical used in fireworks and gunpowder.

Stopler faces charges of attempted arson and attempted murder.

The state attorney's office released a statement saying: "We are currently reviewing all of the available evidence to see if both the Hate Crimes enhancement and/or the Terrorism charges are supported under Florida law.  We will be announcing our charging decisions at the arraignment which is the first step of the actual court process."

Miami Beach Man Arrested After Attempting To Burn Down Neighbor's Condo - Thumbnail Image

Miami Beach Man Arrested After Attempting To Burn Down Neighbor's Condo

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