Naked man arrested for vandalising Spokane gurdwara in Washington

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Washington, March 4: In an apparent hate crime, a gurdwara in the US state of Washington was vandalised by a “naked” man who desecrated sacred items of the Sikh worship place, drawing condemnation from the community leaders.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when Jeffrey C Pittman, 44, broke into the gurdwara in Spokane. Deputies say that Pittman was arrested early Thursday morning wearing nothing but a sheet taken from the temple’s furnishings. He was also holding the gurdwara’s ceremonial sword.

He also desecrated sacred items of the gurdwara.

Pittman was booked in Spokane County Jail connection with charges of burglary, malicious mischief and malicious harassment, which is the state’s statute for a hate crime, The Seattle Globalist reported.

“All religions should be respected. Any crime committed due to someone’s religious beliefs will be a priority and fully investigated,” said Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich in a statement.

“They (deputies) detained Pittman after a short altercation. The damage is estimated to be several thousand dollars and there was damage to religiously sacred items of the Temple,” Knezovich said.

Gurdwara priest Gurjwet Singh Augla said he and another man were able to detain the person until police arrived.

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