Police in California have arrested a man accused of stabbing a Muslim man who was leaving a mosque with his family late Saturday, the New York Daily News reports.
According to KABC, the incident occurred around 11:15 p.m. Saturday when authorities say the suspect, identified as John Matteson of Simi Valley, Calif., and another man confronted some worshippers who had left a Simi Valley mosque and were walking on the sidewalk.
A verbal altercation began, reportedly turning into a scuffle, during which Matteson allegedly stabbed the victim.
Matteson was arrested near the scene. According to KABC, the second suspect fled on foot and officials were still looking for him.
Based on the attacker's alleged words and actions, Investigators believe that the victim was targeted because of his religion.
"We're looking into perhaps the way our victim was dressed and his association with the local mosque," Simi Valley Police Sgt. Adam Darough told KABC.
The victim, who was stabbed in the abdomen, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Matteson, in the meantime, according to the Daily News, is facing multiple charges, including violation of civil rights, which is a hate crime, as well as criminal threats and disturbing the peace while jailed.
KABC notes that he was being held on $25,000 bail.