Fort Lauderdale: Authorities said they have arrested a suspect for beating a man outside a Florida mosque that Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had attended, and an Islamic group said the victim was a Muslim.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the attacker made racial slurs, though authorities said they had no immediate indication of any racially motivated comments. St Lucie County Sheriff Ken J Mascara said deputies were called to the Fort Pierce Islamic Center on Saturday by a caller, who said someone was attempting to burglarise a vehicle.
A suspect identified as Taylor Anthony Mazzanti, 25, was arrested and has been charged with felony battery. Deputies found a man bleeding from the mouth who said he was approached by a man who “asked him what he was doing and then punched him several times in the face and head.” The man left, but an officer’s traffic stop minutes later halted a vehicle and the victim subsequently “positively identified the driver as the man who attacked him.”
CAIR issued a statement earlier that a white truck stopped at the mosque early Saturday and that a man had made slurs, saying, “You Muslims need to get back to your country.” Omar Mateen sometimes attended Friday prayers.