Suspected hate crime after stabbing at mosque

2016-12-12 11:15

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Simi Valley - A man has been arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime after police say he stabbed a worshipper near a Simi Valley mosque.

Police said reports of people fighting sent them to a shopping centre parking lot near the mosque around 23:15 on Saturday. Officers separated the combatants and found that one person had been stabbed.

The fight began after a man confronted a worshipper and got into a verbal dispute, police said.

John Matteson, 29, was arrested nearby, police said.

The victim had non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital in stable condition, police said.

Matteson remained jailed on Sunday on suspicion of making criminal threats, violating civil rights and disturbing the peace by fighting, according to a Ventura County sheriff's website.

"We're investigating whether or not this was instigated by [the victim's] appearance and the association with the mosque," Sergeant 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."

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