SALEM, Mass. (TCD) -- A 42-year-old man was taken into custody for allegedly starting a fire at a local Satanic Temple in what he admitted was a "hate crime."
According to a statement, on June 10 at 10:05 p.m., the Salem Police Department received several calls about a fire at 64 Bridge St. Officers responded to the scene and attempted to put out the blaze with fire extinguishers but were not successful. Police evacuated occupants from the building, and the Salem Fire Department arrived and eventually extinguished the fire.
The building, which is the site of the Satanic Temple, sustained damage to the front porch, but no one was injured.
During their investigation, Salem Police reportedly "determined that the fire had been deliberately set" and arrested Daniel Lucey of Chelsea, Massachusetts. Lucey reportedly told police he traveled to Salem "for the express purpose of setting fire to the Temple" and allegedly said he considered his actions to be a hate crime.
The Salem News reports Lucey called the Satanic Temple congregants "devil worshippers" and said they "need to be wiped out."
Lucey, who was reportedly wearing a shirt that said "God" on it, allegedly went to the Satanic Temple, poured lighter fluid on the porch, left his backpack, then lit it all on fire. Investigators found a Bible, copy of the U.S. Constitution, and lighter fluid inside the backpack.
Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, shared photos of the fire and doorbell camera footage allegedly showing Lucey on the porch.
Greaves wrote, "We will fix it. We will clean it up, air out the smoke, and we will reopen."
Lucey has reportedly pleaded not guilty to charges of arson, civil rights violations, and destruction of a place of worship.