A California man was arrested on felony hate crime charges after he assaulted a man he believed was promoting demonic beliefs, the Record-Bee reports.
According to Clearlake Police Department Sergeant Rodd Joseph, 49-year-old Michael Munoz assaulted the unnamed victim — who was performing a religious activity with other members of his church outside of Ray’s Food Place — after the two began arguing about why Munoz no longer attended the church.
The argument began when Munoz allegedly approached the church group and accused them of passing out publications that promote demonic belief. He began to argue with one of the members of the group, who asked him to leave.
When he refused, the victim then dialed 911, but before he could file a report, Munoz grabbed the phone from his hand and smashed it on the pavement.
Munoz then punched the victim repeatedly before fleeing the area.
Munoz was quickly located and arrested on two misdemeanor counts of interfering with a 911 call to police and vandalism for the destruction of the victim’s phone.
After talking to Munoz, however, police added the charge of felony hate crime and had Munoz booked into Lake County Jail.