Two charged in Islamic center vandalism

By Lindsey Stokes
Staff Writer

Boston Globe Cameron Cappella, right and Derrik Demone, left  (Photo from the Boston Globe)
Boston Globe
Cameron Cappella, right and Derrik Demone, left (Photo from the Boston Globe)

Two men have been arrested and charged in the vandalism of an Islamic center in Burlington, Mass.

Burlington police Sunday were called to the Islamic Center of Burlington where they discovered “USA” repeatedly spray-painted on the outside walls of the building. According to police, in addition to the spray paint, eggs had also been thrown at the building.

Cameron Cappella and Derrik Demone, both 18- years- old, were arrested Monday and charged with malicious destruction of property and tagging.

“We were able to quickly close this shameful case involving a hate crime in our community,” said Police Chief Michael Kent. “This behavior is not tolerated in town and the suspects will be held responsible for their actions.”

Surveillance video from outside the center was used to help identify both Cappella and Demone. According to police, the video shows a third person who remained inside the vehicle that transported the men while the crime was being committed.

“They were not afraid of being caught on the cameras,” said Munir Gandeva, president and founder of the center. “It is very serious.” Worshipers were inside the center when it was vandalized.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Mass. says it will be asking the FBI to further investigate the incident.

A statement released by the Anti-Defamation League of New England thanked police for taking the vandalism seriously and making quick arrests. “There is nothing patriotic about attacking Muslims,” the statement read. “People of all faiths are entitled to worship without fear of harassment, intimidation, or violence.”