A Florida man was arrested this week after he allegedly tried to kill his Jewish neighbors by setting fire to his condominium complex.
According to the Miami Herald, 72-year-old Walter Stolper was taken into custody Thursday after police received an anonymous tip about his alleged arson plot. Authorities said that when they arrived at the scene, they discovered Stopler inside the building’s parking garage transporting two large containers in a shopping cart. The arrest affidavit states officers could smell gasoline coming from the containers, as well as the suspect’s car. They later found eight more canisters filled with gasoline inside a garbage chute dumpster; those containers matched those that Stopler had in his possession. The suspect allegedly told police he planned to use the gasoline for “a small barbecue.”
Police said the man permitted them to search his apartment, where they discovered swastika and Nazi literature.
Stopler allegedly told witness Luis Diaz that he intended to “burn down the building with all the fucking Jews.”
Per the Miami Herald:
According to the affidavit, Diaz said Stolper told him he was going to fill plastic containers with gasoline, pour the fuel down the building’s main line, and ignite the gas. Stolper told Diaz that he purchased two electrical fans “to fan the flames and cause maximum amount of damage.”
Diaz also told police Stolper bought padlocks and painted them red and told him he had intended to place the locks on the condo’s fire hoses to prevent the fire department from putting out the fire.
Another resident of the condo told authorities Stolper had recently received an eviction notice; however, it is unclear why he was told to leave.
“His motivation appears to be triggered by an upcoming eviction and anger towards Jewish neighbors,” the Miami Beach Police Department tweeted Friday.
Stopler has been charged with attempted first-degree arson.