A 72-year-old Florida man was arrested Friday after he vowed to burn down his condo to kill “all the f-cking Jews” inside.
“We do believe that we were minutes away from a potentially deadly situation,” explained Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.
Walter Stolper was in the process of being evicted from his Miami Beach condo this week when resident Luis Diaz alerted authorities about a recent conversation he had with the suspect, CBS 4 Miami reported on Friday.
“[Stolper] told me he was tired of the association and the Jews in the building and he wanted to do something about it. He said he wanted to burn down the building. At first, I didn’t think he was serious but then I heard him talk about blocking the fire department and their hoses I realized he was serious and I had to do something,” said Diaz.
“I’m a family guy and I have kids and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to them,” he said. “So I contacted the building and they contacted police. I think he needs help. He is a confused older man. I have been his friend for 10 years and I know him because I am a camera technician and have done work for him. At first, I thought he was just angry and venting but I realized it was much more.”
On Friday afternoon, police detectives located a storage room linked to Stolper, which contained 28 containers with gasoline, sulfur powder, and potassium nitrate.
“This is an individual that our intelligence unit intercepted with two filled gasoline tanks as he was coming back into the apartment building. Already in the building, he had disposed of eight additional gasoline canisters down the trash chute from the 15th floor,” said Rodriguez.
When officers arrived at the building, they could smell the gas. A resident also complained about the strong odor of gas in the hallways and elevators, reports CBS4.
“We received a tip yesterday. He had been acting strangely saying a lot of derogatory comments towards the Jewish community. We later learned there was a pending eviction for him,” said Rodriguez.
Raynell Proctor of Marksman Security told D’Oench one of his security officers reported the smell of gasoline in the building: “He did smell that odor and he did report it. I feel like he is kind of a hero the way he acted. And he was vigilant.”
“Inside of the unit, we found Nazi reading material as well as a swastika. This again is a very, very, very dangerous individual. Our detectives also seized two firearms,” said Rodriguez.
Police also said he had purchased two electrical fans to fan the flames and cause as much damage as possible. He also purchased padlocks to place on a nearby firehouse to keep firefighters from extinguishing the flames.
Stolper, police say, also destroyed the smoke detector in his condominium, which was hardwired into the building’s fire system.
When asked about the gas in the containers, Stolper told the officers, “I bought the gas to make a small BBQ.”
Stolper was arrested and charged with attempted murder and attempted arson.