A Florida man facing eviction was arrested Thursday after he plotted to set a Miami apartment building on fire because he wanted to “kill all Jews” living there, police said.
Walter Edward Stolper, 72, was charged with first-degree attempted arson and attempted murder after he dumped several gasoline-filled containers down a trash chute in his apartment building, Miami Beach police announced Friday.
Officials “intercepted a potential crisis” when they stopped Stolper and arrested him in the apartment building’s parking lot, WSVN reported. Authorities received a tip about Stolper’s plan and caught the 72-year-old with two containers of gasoline.
Luis Diaz told WSVN he turned his friend of 10 years in to police after the 72-year-old told him of his plan.
“A comment that he made to me, it actually bothered me,” Diaz said. “[Stopler said] that he was gonna burn the building down with a bunch of Jews in it.”
Stolper later told police he planned to burn down the building with “all the [expletive] Jews” to “kill all” of them. Detectives believe the disgruntled tenant wanted to carry out the potentially deadly act because of an upcoming eviction and his anger toward his Jewish neighbors.
To thwart rescue efforts, Stolper purchased two electrical fans to help spread the flames and padlocks to prevent the fire department from accessing the fire hoses.
“A room located within the same building contained 28 additional containers with gasoline, sulfur powder, and potassium nitrate,” police said Friday.
Police also found swastikas and books of Nazi ideology in Stolper’s home.
“He said he didn’t like Jews. He’s a Nazi,” Diaz said.
Stolper could face hate crime charges, police said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.