WASHINGTON– A 21-year-old man has been accused of vandalising a Sikh temple property in California in December, and will be arraigned next month, according to a media report. (See the apology video link in the article below. Courtesy of Sikh Coalition.)
Brodie Durazo of Buena Park, about 30 km from Los Angeles, has been charged with one felony count of vandalism of a religious property and two misdemeanour counts each of vandalism under $400, the Los Angeles Times reported citing prosecutors.
Durazo turned himself in on Monday and was released on $20,000 bail, the Orange County district attorney’s office said.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on February 8. If convicted, prosecutors said, he could face a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.
Gang graffiti was found scribbled on the exterior of the Sikh Centre on December 6, while an expletive and the word “ISIS” were also found scrawled on a tractor trailer that was parked at the temple, according to the Sikh Coalition.
Durazo is accused of spray-painting graffiti throughout a trailer park where he lives and of then going into the property of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha Temple and spray-painting graffiti on a dividing wall between the trailer park and the temple. He is also accused of spray-painting graffiti on the big rig.
The vandalism prompted an increase in police patrols near the religious centre and sparked fear among members of the Sikh community.
“We believe that the Gurdwara Singh Sabha was vandalized because it is a Sikh house of worship,” the coalition’s attorney Gurjot Kaur said in a statement at the time.
“We call on local and federal agencies to investigate this vandalism as a hate crime and request increased law enforcement security at the gurdwara immediately.”