Third Suspect Arrested In Connection With Fort Smith Mosque Vandalism
FORT SMITH (KFSM) — A third man has been arrested in connection with vandalizing two Fort Smith mosques during October 2016.
Ezra Pedraza, 20, of Barling faces felony first-degree criminal mischief. He was being held Thursday (Feb. 23) in the Sebastian County Detention Center in lieu of a $5,000 bond.
Pedraza, along with Craig Wigginton, 19, and Abraham Davis, 20, who are also facing felony first-degree criminal mischief appeared in court Thursday (Feb. 23).
Wiggington and Davis were arrested Friday (Feb. 17). Both were being held Thursday (Feb. 23) in the Sebastian County Detention Center in lieu of $15,000 bonds.
First-degree criminal mischief is a Class D felony, and is punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue stated in a news release that he has continuously asked why no “hate crime” charges have been filed regarding this matter. No such charges have been filed because according to state statutes, the law doesn’t provide for such a a charge for bias-motivated violence or intimidation.
The arrests stem from an FBI and Fort Smith Police Department investigation during October 2017. Two mosques were vandalized Oct. 20. Spray paint was used to write vulgar words on the mosques. Swastika’s were also painted on the building and the words ‘Go Home’.
The three are set to be arraigned March 1 at 8:30 a.m. in Sebastian County Circuit Court.