Burlington Police arrested two men and charged them with vandalizing a Mosque on Sunday morning.
Security footage reportedly showed two masked suspects emerge from a white car and vandalize the Islamic Center of Burlington on Lexington Street. Vandals spent roughly 20 minutes defacing the mosque, police said. The suspects spray painted “USA” on the exterior of the building, and pelted it with eggs.
Cameron Cappella, 18, and Derrik Demone, 18, both from Burlington, were charged with malicious destruction of property over $250 and tagging property, police said.
Investigators said acted on several tips, which led them to the suspects.
“We were able to quickly close this shameful case involving a hate crime in our community,” Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said Monday. “This behavior is not tolerated in town and the suspects will be held responsible for their actions.”
Members of the Islamic Center were inside praying when they heard the noises from outside, police said. Security footage showed the two men running towards the mosque while a third person is seen sitting in the driver's seat of a white Crown Victoria, police.
"We strongly condemn the vandalism of the Islamic Center of Burlington, a mosque in Burlington, Massachusetts," Anti-Defamation League's New England Regional Director Robert Trestan said. "There is nothing patriotic about attacking Muslims. People of all faiths are entitled to worship without fear of harassment, intimidation or violence. When a house of worship is attacked it is an affront to all faiths. We commend the Burlington Police Department for their prompt response and the seriousness with which they are addressing this incident."
The Islamic Center of Burlington experienced similar vandalism in 2013, Channel 7 WHDH reported.
The Council on American Islamic Relations Massachusetts branch is asking the FBI to investigate this instance as a hate crime.