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Criminal Justice

A Man Suspected In Hate-Crime Is Identified After Vandalism At Koreatown Islamic Center

Surveillance image of the man accused of defacing the Islamic Center of Southern California in Koreatown.
LAPD Chief Michael Moore identified the man as 43-year-old Carlos Moran, who he said is suffering from "some type of mental health issue."
(Courtesy LAPD)
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The man who allegedly used a sharpie to write anti-Muslim words on the Islamic Center of Southern California's Koreatown building this weekend has been identified as 43-year-old Carlos Moran.

Moran was booked for church vandalism with a hate crime enhancement, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said at Tuesday morning's Los Angeles Police Board Commission meeting.

According to Moore, when Moran was arrested he told authorities that he was a king. His bail is set for $85,000.

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Why it matters

L.A. County has seen a surge in hate crimes in recent years. The county's Commission On Human Relations reported 786 hate crimes in 2021.

"When we look at hate crimes across this city and across this country, we've seen an unparalleled increased in the instances of hate and hate crimes since the onset of the pandemic," said Moore.

Not an isolated incident

The center had already beefed up security measures after previous attacks and vandalism, said Hedab Tarifi, with the Islamic Center of Southern California.

"There is a school associated with this building," she said, adding that it's important to send the message that local Muslims will not allow "haters to bring us down."

The Islamic Center’s spokesperson, Omar Ricci, noted that the attack comes on the heels of a stabbing of a New Jersey Imam during prayer and Israeli police attacking worshippers at a mosque in Jerusalem.

“The attack is not just on this center or what’s happening in other parts of the world or the country, but it’s an attack on our city as a whole,” he said.

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Updated April 11, 2023 at 12:51 PM PDT
This story was updated with the name of the man arrested in connection with the incident.
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