Submitted by Greg Premo, Police Chief, City of University Place.
I am pleased to report that a suspect wanted in connection with the arson at the Islamic Center of Tacoma (2010 Bridgeport Way W.) on Oct. 11 was arrested yesterday without incident by a team of investigators from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigations Bureau, Special Investigations Unit and UPPD.
Thanks to diligent work by our staff and the PCSD’s arson investigator, as well as tips called in to the Pierce County Sheriff Department’s Crime Stoppers Facebook page, the 38-year-old U.P. resident was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of first-degree arson.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the fire but the building suffered extensive smoke and water damage. As a result, services at the mosque have been paused and members are seeking other locations for worship until repairs are made. A LaunchGood campaign has currently raised more than $330,000 to help the Islamic Center of Tacoma raise funds to rebuild their mosque.
Although we believe this is an isolated incident, rest assured that the U.P. Police Department, in conjunction with our other law enforcement partners, will continue to ensure that all citizens have the right to worship freely and without fear of hate or intolerance.
I am confident that this crime, however despicable and illegal, will provide yet another opportunity for the community of University Place to demonstrate that we support and welcome all of those who choose to live, work, play and worship in U.P.