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Fire at SoCal Church Was Hate Crime, Investigators Say

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Fire-at-SoCal-Church-Was-Hate-Crime-Investigators-Say-El-Cajon-Greek-Orthodox-188663701.html Fire at SoCal Church Was
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 28, 2013
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      http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Fire-at-SoCal-Church-Was-Hate-Crime-Investigators-Say-El-Cajon-Greek-Orthodox-188663701.html

      Fire at SoCal Church Was Hate Crime, Investigators Say
      No one was inside the San Diego-area Greek Orthodox church when it was
      set ablaze. Authorities have arrested a man on suspicion of committing a
      hate crime.

      By Monica Garske and Sharon Bernstein
      | Monday, Jan 28, 2013

      Another in a flurry of apparently unrelated incidents that investigators
      are looking into as hate crimes took place over the weekend in Southern
      California, when someone set a Greek Orthodox church ablaze.

      The fire at the St. Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthorox Church in San Diego
      county broke out at about 4 a.m. on Sunday.

      Neighbors in the unincorporated area of El Cajon where the church is
      located reported the blaze to authorities.

      Firefighters from Cal Fire, San Miguel Fire District, Heartland Fire and
      Lakeside all worked together to tackle the blaze. Crews were able to
      extinguish the fire within 45 minutes, officials said.

      There was no one inside the church at the time of the fire and no
      injuries were reported.

      Investigators from the Sheriff's Bomb/Arson Unit and a fire investigator
      from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives were
      called to investigate the cause and origin of the fire.

      According to the Sheriff’s Department, the fire caused about $250,000 in
      damages to the church.
      Investigators have identified a person of interest in connection to the
      fire.

      Suspect Darin Williams, 38, was immediately contacted by investigators
      and arrested for suspicion of arson, burglary and a hate crime.

      Williams was booked into San Diego Central Jail and being held on
      $150,000 bail. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

      No further details were immediately released.

      The investigation is ongoing. Check back for updates.
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