Florida man Michael Wolfe of Titusville was convicted of a hate crime in the Sunshine State for leaving behind bacon in a mosque. He also broke windows at the worship place. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Wolf agreed to a plea deal, pleading to criminal mischief on December 5. Besides his prison sentence, he will have a subsequent 15 years of probation following his eventual release.
The conviction came in connection to a January 2016 incident. He is hereby barred from ever entering the Islamic Society of Central Florida Masjid Al-Munin Mosque in Titusville. According to the Brevard and Seminole County state attorney’s office, Wolfe’s offense was classified as a hate crime.
“The Florida Muslim Community is suffering an unprecedented number of hate crimes,” Wilfredo Ruiz, a spokesman for Florida CAIR, said in a statement. “Multiple mosques and Islamic institutions have been broken into, vandalized and even set on fire.”
“The intent is to really deter similar kinds of hate crime. After what we’ve seen in Texas at the church, this is needed,” said Imam Muhammad Musri, who is in charge of several area mosques. Because Muslim sharia law prohibits the consumption or handling of pork products by its adherents, prosecutors charged Wolfe for leaving behind the bacon at the mosque in Brevard County.
Police alleged that Wolfe broke into the mosque, tore down lights, smashed windows, and left the bacon. Wolfe is a habitual offender, having had multiple run-ins with the law dating back to 1998, including convictions in burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and grand theft in 2004. For the latter crime, he was sentenced to two years, seven months and two days in prison. In 2011, for burglary of a conveyance, Wolfe was sentenced to 64 days in the county jail. Wolfe was also fined and sentenced to probation after a 2001 burglary and grand theft arrest when he was just 20 years old, records show.
Wolfe has convictions on three DUI offenses, possession of hydrocodone and cannabis, and an array of traffic violations. He spent over a year and a half in total in the Brevard County Jail over the course of his sentencings.