Moorhead mosque vandalism suspect pleads guilty
MOORHEAD, M.N. (Valley News Live) - The man accused of spray painting racist graffiti on a Moorhead mosque earlier this spring has now entered a guilty plea.
22-year-old Benjamin Enderle is charged with a gross misdemeanor of harassment and one felony count of second-degree criminal property damage. Enderle has pleaded guilty to the harassment charge. Court records did not indicate if his property damage charge has been dismissed or not.
Moorhead Police were dispatched just before 5:30 a.m. April 25 to the Moorhead-Fargo Islamic Community Center at 2215 12th Ave. S. for a report of vandalism. Officers found hate messages directed toward the Islamic faith spray painted on several areas on the outside of the building. Some of the messages included, ‘Go to hell’ and ‘Death to Islam.’
Just 24 hours after police started investigating, MPD Chief Shannon Monroe says his detectives received a call from a woman who works in the loss prevention office at the Dilworth Walmart.
“Saying, ‘Hey, we found sales of red paint. You had red paint in your news release, so this may be of interest to you,’” Monroe said in an interview with Valley News Live back in April.
Court documents say Enderle can be seen on surveillance video buying red spray paint just after 11 a.m. on April 24.
Documents say when interviewed, Enderle confessed to spray painting the mosque, but said he did it as a joke. Enderle stated he ‘doesn’t hate them,’ rather, he said he just wanted to get a reaction out of the community and the media.
Enderle will be sentenced on July 30.
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