A former sheriff's deputy who drove his pickup truck through the front of a Louisiana convenience store in a deliberate attack last Saturday night has admitted that he did it because he mistakenly believed the Sikh owner were Muslims.
According to police reports, Chad Horsley, 27, is accused of driving his his truck into a Best Stop store and taking the ATM machine before pulling a gun on a witness and then driving off, reports the Advocate.
After being taken into custody, Horsley, admitted to investigators that he slammed his truck into the store just minutes before it closed. He then told them he did it because, as a former Marine, he was upset about other Marines fighting and dying in the Middle East and he thought the owners were Muslims
According to Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard, this was not Horsley' first attack on the store. Previously he entered the store on Feb. 27 and claimed he was a law enforcement officer and that he suspected drug activity and claimed he would return to conduct a search.
"He blamed Muslims for killing his fellow service members overseas," Ard said of Horsley. "He was also upset that Muslims, in his mind, were having an easier time prospering than he was despite his time in the service."
According to Horsley's father, he was stunned by his son's actions, saying, he is "as far from a racist as they come."
Horsley told investigators he was an East Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputy, however investigators later learned he is a former reserve deputy and is no longer employed there.
The Louisiana man was booked Monday into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on one count each of a hate crime, simple criminal damage to property, criminal mischief, and two counts of false impersonation of a peace officer.