A Florida man was so angry after learning that he was about to be evicted from his Miami Beach condo that he concocted a revenge plan, with one group in particular that he was targeting, reports the Miami Herald. It isn’t clear why his building wanted Walter Edward Stolper out, but what resulted was the 72-year-old wanted to burn down the complex. Thanks to a tip from an alert citizen, he was instead arrested by Miami Beach police and booked Friday on the charge of attempted arson. Once the police gained access to the suspect’s unit, they found gasoline and some things he planned to accelerate the flames, as well as “artifacts with swastikas and books of Nazi ideology inside.”
The Miami Herald reported that on Thursday, police say Stolper told witness Luis Diaz that he was “going to burn down the building with all the f—— Jews,” according to the arrest report. He apparently also told him that his plan was to fill plastic containers with gasoline, pour it down the building’s main line, and then ignite it. Diaz also said that Stolper told him that he purchased two electrical fans “to fan the flames and cause maximum amount of damage.”
The @ADL_Florida wants #HateCrime classification for Miami Beach man accused of trying to burn down a Collins Avenue condo to "kill all Jews."https://t.co/BCkbjC5XD6@MiamiHerald pic.twitter.com/JkhLyG0QPm— Howard Cohen (@HowardCohen) July 14, 2018
That witness also informed police that the suspect bought padlocks and painted them red, with the intention of placing them on the condo’s fire hoses so that the fire department wouldn’t be able to put out the blaze.
According to Fox 35, Stolper dumped gasoline-filled containers down a trash chute and allegedly had two more in his possession when they found him in the parking garage, moving them with a shopping cart. Police apparently smelled gas coming from it, according to the affidavit. But that wasn’t all — the Miami Beach police have since released an update via their Twitter account.
“Detectives have located a storage room linked to the defendant. The room located within the same building contained 28 additional containers with gasoline, sulfur powder, and potassium nitrate. He has now been charged the with Attempted Murder.”
UPDATE: Detectives have located a storage room linked to the defendant. The room located within the same building contained 28 additional containers with gasoline, sulfur powder, and potassium nitrate. He has now been charged the with Attempted Murder. pic.twitter.com/9cXvNkWwiU— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) July 13, 2018
“I bought the gas to make a small barbecue,” Stolper told detectives, according to the arrest report.
On Friday, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement, praising the work done by the Miami Beach police that certainly saved many lives. But that wasn’t all.
“Based on available public information about the incident, we urge the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to take a hard look at reclassifying and prosecuting this incident as a hate crime,” the ADL added.