FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lt. Chris Lick
During the early morning hours of March 24, 2019, the Escondido Police and Fire Communication Center received a 911 phone call from the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque on 6th Street in Escondido. The caller reported the building on fire and had been extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Escondido Police and Fire Department personnel arrived and determined the incident to be an arson. Graffiti left behind by the suspect made reference to the shooting incident in New Zealand. Escondido Police and Fire Department Arson investigators, along with the San Diego County Sheriff's Bomb/Arson Unit responded to assist with the investigation. Agents from the FBI and BATF are also assisting with the investigation.
There were seven people in the mosque during the fire who were there for religious purposes. No one was injured during the incident and the structure had minor damage to the outside façade.
There have been no suspects identified and the investigation is on-going. The incident is being investigated as both an arson and a hate crime. Uniformed officers are providing additional patrols in the area of the mosque.
Members of the public are encouraged to call the police department to report suspicious activity in the area of the mosque. Anyone with information about the investigation is encouraged to contact the Escondido Police Department.
Please follow the police department via Facebook at www.facebook.com/EscondidoPolice and Twitter (@EscondidoPolice).
To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our "Anonymous Tip Line" at (760) 743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org.