Chad Horsley allegedly admitted to Louisiana authorities that he wanted to make Muslims “pay.”
So police say Horsley, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, targeted a convenience store in Livingston Parish that he thought was owned by Muslims, according to The Advocate. He allegedly posed as a police officer and entered the shop on Feb. 27, telling those in the business that he was going to return and search their store for drugs.
He came back on March 3, police say, and drove his white pickup truck into the shop before driving away, according to WAFB. Police say someone claiming to be a witness called and said a man stole an ATM machine and pulled out a gun when people tried to stop him.
But Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard told WWL that it was actually Horsley who called police and said he was a witness of the wild scene before later admitting that he actually committed the alleged crime.
Police later told The Advocate that Horsley lied about the ATM part of the story.
The 27-year-old, a former reserve deputy with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, explained his actions to deputies.
“Through the investigation we learned that he purposely did it because of the hate he had for Muslims,” Ard said in an interview with WWL. “He wanted to make them pay for some things that he felt happened overseas and things of that nature.”
Ard added to WAFB that Horsley “was also upset that Muslims, in his mind, were having an easier time prospering than he was despite his time in the service.”
The nephew of the shop’s owner came forward in an interview with The Advocate to make one thing clear: His family is Sikh, not Muslim. Harjot Singh, who works at the shop as a cashier, said "this was the first ever incident to happen like that."
But Singh, who came here from India two years ago, said that his family’s faith shouldn’t matter in the first place.
"Even if it was Muslims, he shouldn't have done that thing," he told The Advocate. "We're just trying to make a living out of here, that's all we're doing."
It’s estimated that Horsley caused about $4,000 in damages to the store, according to WAFB. Police say they found a white truck without a license plate at his house.
Horsley faces charges of a hate crime, criminal mischief, criminal damage to property and false impersonation of a police officer, according to WBRZ. His bond was set at around $56,000.