Man Charged With Hate Crime After Stabbing Outside Mosque: Cops
John Matteson allegedly stabbed a man after a verbal altercation outside a Simi Valley mosque Saturday.
A man has been arrested following an altercation outside a California mosque that ended with a stabbing, one police believe may have been motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment.
Police in Ventura County have named John Matteson as a suspect in the stabbing, which occurred sometime before noon on Saturday near the mosque in Simi Valley.
According to police, a fight ensued around 11:30 a.m. and one person was stabbed. Matteson, 29, was booked on Sunday after being treated for his own injuries at a local hospital.
Matteson was reportedly arrested near the place of worship. He was charged with violation of civil rights and with making criminal threats based on remarks he allegedly made, authorities said.
"We’re investigating whether or not this was instigated by [the victim’s] appearance and the association with the mosque," Simi Valley Police Department Sgt. Adam Darough told the Los Angeles Times. "We’re quite concerned that this occurred. We want to keep people of all faiths safe in the city."
The victim, who police say was stabbed in the abdomen, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries and is expected to recover.
Another suspect is reportedly still at large.
The attack comes after a report from the FBI last month indicated a marked increase in 2015 hate crimes over the previous year, most of them against Muslims.
Civil rights groups nationwide have also cited an increase in hate-related incidents in the weeks since the presidential election.
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