The intended target was the Met Mart store at 100 Prima Vista Blvd. in Port St. Lucie.
Deputies were called to the business Friday morning.
“When the deputies arrived, they noticed the dumpster had been rolled in front of the doors and the contents were lit on fire,” Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said in a statement. “Upon seeing our deputies, the man put his hands behind his back and said ‘take me away.’”
The store was closed at the time.
“The man, identified as Richard Lloyd, was read his Miranda Rights and then told deputies that he pushed the dumpster to the front of the building, tore down signs posted to the outside of the store and lit the contents of the dumpster on fire to ‘run the Arabs out of our country,’” Mascara said. “It’s unfortunate that Mr. Lloyd made the assumption that the store owners were Muslim when, in fact, they are of Indian descent,”
Deputies booked Lloyd, 64, into the St. Lucie County Jail on a charge of first degree arson.