Florida man gets 15 years for vandalizing mosque with machete, bacon

By Ray Downs  |  Dec. 6, 2017 at 11:47 PM
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Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A Florida man was sentenced to 15 years in state prison Wednesday for shattering the windows of a mosque with a machete and leaving bacon on its doorstep.

Michael Wolfe, 37, pleaded guilty to vandalism and hate crime charges on Tuesday and received his sentence the next day. After the 15-year prison sentence, Wolfe will also serve 15 years probation.

Wolfe was facing a potential life sentence before the plea deal.

The spokesman for the State Attorney's Office of Brevard and Seminole County said in a statement that Wolfe was sentenced as a Habitual Felony Offender and also received a hate crime enhancement.

Imam Muhammad Musri, the senior imam and president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said the sentence sends a message that hate crimes will not be tolerated.

"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 told Florida Today, referring to the mass shooting at a Christian church that killed 26 people. "Our schools, our churches, our theaters, it's a red line. It's heartbreaking. The hate must stop."

In January 2016, surveillance video at the Masjid al-Mumin mosque in Titusville, Fla. caught Wolfe using a machete to break windows, lights and surveillance cameras. He then left a slab of raw bacon at the front door of the mosque. Pork is prohibited under Islamic law.

Police said the total cost of damage Wolfe inflicted on the mosque totaled about $800, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

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