MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested a man after he allegedly made angry, profanity-laced threats on Facebook against Muslims and a mosque in Miami Gardens.
According to Miami Gardens Police, 27-year-old Brandyn Hernandez was arrested Monday after he posted arson and death threats to his Facebook page.
He appeared before a judge in bond court, Tuesday.
One of the Sunday morning posts read in part, ‘[Expletive] the Muslim who stole my phone.”
The suspect appears to take aim at worshippers at the Islamic Center of Greater Miami-Masjid Miami Gardens. The post went on to say, “(Masjid 183) I’m going to have your hand, no trial, no due process. #TRYME”
Hernandez’s arrest form states he wanted to burn down Muslims and “take them out” using Molotov cocktails at local Muslim-owned corner stores.
He also allegedly threatened to open liquor bottles at the stores and light them on fire.
Officials at the mosque said Hernandez visited, dined and prayed at Masjid on a regular basis, as recently as Saturday, when he was caught on surveillance video wearing a red polo during prayer service and walking into the mosque’s washroom.
“To us, it was a surprise even though knowing that he was here,” said Abdul Rasheed, one of the leaders at the mosque.
Rasheed spoke to 7News from the house of worship, Monday night, while observing Ramadan, a strict religious Islamic practice when fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset for one month.
Rasheed acknowledged the suspect was acting strange recently.
“He was acting a little bit weird … Very quiet, very isolated, kind of retracted to himself,” he said.
When asked whether Hernandez was scoping out the mosque, Rasheed replied, “We don’t know that part. I saw him personally the day before yesterday.”
Members of the mosque notified police following the posts, leading to Hernandez’s arrest at Florida Memorial University, where he was recently a student.
In addition to the posted threat over the stolen phone, the Facebook page also featured a post showing a painting of Jesus Christ holding a man, accompanied by text that reads, “Ya Muslims need Jesus!”
The suspect tagged the mosque in the photo.
Hernandez has been charged with making written threats to kill or do bodily injury.
“Knowing from his threat, whatever it is, it’s public record now,” said Rasheed. “It makes you believe maybe he has certain motives that we were not aware of it.”
Hernandez is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade on $7,500 bond. If he posts bail, he will be under house arrest until his trial.
He was also ordered to stay away from the Islamic Center of Greater Miami-Masjid Mosque.
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