A man became irate after he was evicted from his Miami Beach, Florida condo and he allegedly vowed to burn down the building, specifically mentioning its Jewish residents, witnesses and police say.
Walter Stolper, 72, is accused of being aggressive toward both other residents in his building and the building's board of directors, according to CBS Miami. One witness, Luis Diaz, told police that Stolper told him he had big plans "to burn down the building with all the f------ Jews,” according to the arrest report cited by the Miami Herald.
Police believe Stolper blamed his Jewish neighbors for his eviction notice.
A witness alerted police to Stolper’s alleged threats. Police arrived at the condo only to find Stolper in the building’s parking garage allegedly pushing a shopping cart holding two plastic containers filled with gasoline. Police soon discovered that empty gasoline containers had already been dropped down a trash chute from the 15th floor, according to the Miami Beach Police Department.
Diaz told police that Stolper allegedly confided in him that he wanted to put gasoline down the building’s main line, before lighting the building on fire, according to the arrest report. The authorities noted that there was a strong odor of gas in the condominium’s hallways and elevators when they arrived. Stolper allegedly told Diaz he bought two electrical fans “to fan the flames and cause maximum amount of damage.” The disgruntled resident also allegedly purchased padlocks to put on the fire hoses in the buildings, Diaz told police.
Police searched Stolper’s apartment and claimed they found some of those materials in addition to swastika artifacts and books of Nazi ideology, CBS Miami reported.
“I bought the gas to make a small barbecue,” Stolper told detectives, according to the arrest report obtained by the Herald.
Stolper was arrested and charged with one count of attempted arson. He was still being held on $7,500 bond as of Friday morning.
“His motivation appears to be triggered by an upcoming eviction and anger towards Jewish neighbors,” police said on Monday.
It’s not clear if Stolper has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time.
[Photo: Miami Beach Police Department]