Two Teens Busted for Miami Mosque Smash-Up

Pair smashed windows, slashed tires at Islamic School of Miami: report

Two teens have been arrested and charged with vandalization of a Miami Mosque after they confessed to smashing windows at the house of worship last weekend in West Kendall.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez-Vaca and Michael Dereck Lobo, both 17, were arrested yesterday and charged with criminal mischief to a Mosque after the pair smashed two windows with an iron rod and slashed tires on a car at the Islamic School of Miami, according to a police report.

According to the report, one of the two admitted that he'd been planning the vandalism for months, and told the arresting officer that he believes all Muslims are terrorists. Both gave written confessions to the attack.

The two, who were wearing masks when they committed the crimes, had also planned to spray paint the walls of the school with derogatory words about Muslims, but their spray paint can malfunctioned, according to the report.

The damage to the building was discovered Tuesday. 

Both teens were charged with criminal mischief to a mosque, a felony. They were also charged with evidencing prejudice while committing offense, and detectives are looking into whether their actions constitute a hate crime.

Yesterday, before the arrests were made, the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement denouncing the vandalism.

"We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this latest attack," CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said in the statement. "We also urge those committed to justice and interfaith tolerance to speak out against the perpetrators."

Gonzalez-Vaca and Lobo were taken to the Miami-Dade Juvenile Assessment Center.

The Mosque, established in 2001, has been a frequent target of hate crimes in its brief history. In 2004, vandals spray-painted a Nazi swastika on the center's sign and in 2005, a rock was thrown through the door of the Mosque. And just six months ago, the Mosque's golden dome was shot to pieces, in a hail of over 50 bullets.

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