Florida Man Who Set Fire Over Store's Orange Juice Selection Wanted to 'Run Arabs Out of Our Country'

This week's totally unhinged food-related news comes in the form of a literal dumpster fire of hate from Florida.

|
Mar 14 2017, 3:00pm

St. Lucie, Florida resident Richard Lloyd was charged with first-degree arson after he tried to set fire to a Met Mart by lighting a dumpster on fire and placing it in front of the Met Mart, causing significant smoke damage to the convenience store.

The motive, you ask?

According to local news network WPEC, Lloyd became infuriated when the Met Mart did not have his favorite juice, Tropicana Orange Pineapple Juice, and he returned days later to light the business on fire. 

But what really appears to have peeved him was his mistaken belief that the owners were Arabs, telling investigators he wanted to "run the Arabs out of our country" because of "what they're doing in the Middle East."

Lloyd had mistakenly assumed that the Met Mart owners were of Middle Eastern descent when they were, in fact, from India.

"It's unfortunate that Mr. Lloyd made the assumption that the store owners were Muslim when, in fact, they are of Indian descent," Sheriff Ken Mascara said. "Regardless, we will not tolerate violence based on age, race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, mental or physical disability."

Also of note is that despite the good intentions of Sheriff Mascara, "Indian" and "Muslim" are not mutually exclusive categories, as he seems to imply. There are more than 172 million Muslims in India.

Regardless of the Met Mart owners' ethnicity, the State Attorney's Office has yet to determine whether the incident is an "intentional" hate crime. But Lloyd admitted to having "a long history of mental health issues" in an arrest affidavit, which may come as no surprise. 

After all, setting a dumpster fire over a store's orange juice selection is a bit extreme no matter who's behind the counter.