Two teens have been arraigned on Monday for allegedly spray painting "USA" on a mosque in Burlington, Massachusetts.
The suspects have been identified as Cameron Scott Cappella and Derrik John Demone, both 18 years old. Burlington Police announced the arrests in a press conference Monday, calling the vandalism "a cowardly act."
Both teens are charged with malicious destruction of property over $250 and tagging property. It's not clear if they have attorneys.
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"I'm just a kid. I apologize for my actions. It won't happen again. It was a harmless prank," Demone said. Cappella offered no comment.
These men have been released pending a December court date.
Police began investigating after members of the Islamic Center of Burlington heard a noise outside while praying in the mosque Sunday. When they stepped out, they saw "USA" spray painted all over the building, authorities said.
The letters were tagged in red more than five times across the building, as well as on a sign on Lexington Street, where the mosque is located. Police said the suspects also smashed eggs on the property.
Surveillance footage shows them pulling up to the front entrance, getting out of the car and tagging the building. They return to their vehicle briefly before getting out again and doing more damage, the video shows.
One of the founders of the Islamic Center of Burlington told necn the building has been targeted before. A safe was stolen in March when the building was burglarized for the fourth time.
"We have concerns about the safety of the people," said Minor Gandavia, the center's president.