"TEMPLE VANDALIST (Religious Hate Crime)" suspect Arrested
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“Religious Hate Crime” Suspect Arrested
The suspect states, “Buddha chases me in my dream”
The suspect that vandalized four temples near Haeundae (Busan city) was arrested near Haeundae Bansong region. Haeundae Police Department made a statement on November 26 that Mr. Lee (44 yrs) has been caught as a suspect of vandalism/religious hate crime in Haeundae. On 27th, he was charged for spraying paints and damaging Buddha statues and pagodas.
The Suspected stated that he committed the crime because “The Buddha was chasing him in his dream.
Police suspects that Mr. Lee suffers from severe psychological disturbance according to Mr. Lee’s past psychological assessment. Police mentioned, “Mr. Lee stated that Buddha appeared in his dream and stabbed him repeatedly. Thus he suffered from insomnia, and ended up committing such crime.” Mr. Lee received treatment for the past 1 month, and ‘S’ symbols sprayed on temples are from the shape drawn from a book he saw at the hospital.
The police will investigate further the possibility of deliberate religious hate crime and need to confirm specific facts.
Mr. Lee sprayed red paints on Buddha statues in Gaeun-sa Temple, and broke in to the main Buddha Hall in Jirim-sa Temple by breaking a large window glass. He also sprayed ‘s’ and ‘x’ mark on Buddha statues, Buddhist paintings, and Stupas in November. Approximate amount of damage done through his crime is ~$180,000 US.