Ben Fox / AP Photo
A man was beaten early Friday morning outside the mosque once attended by Omar Mateen, the Orlando nightclub shooter, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
According to the organization, the incident took place around 4:15 a.m. Friday. A white male in a white truck parked at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center, approached the man, and began “uttering racial slurs and foul language.”
“You Muslims need to get back to your country,” he reportedly told the victim.
The man suffered head trauma and lost a tooth in the beating, CAIR said.
Taylor Anthony Mazzanti
St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office / AP Photo
On Saturday afternoon St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office arrested 25-year-old Taylor Anthony Mazzanti on felony battery charges, according to the Palm Beach Post. He is currently being held on a $3,750 bond.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office for more information.
“This should not have happened,” said CAIR Florida spokesperson Wilfred Ruiz in a statement. “For over two weeks we have been emphasizing that the community from the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce needs to be offered security from the Sheriff's Office. Unfortunately, our requests were repeatedly ignored.”
A volunteer at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center told local NBC affiliate WPTV that the mosque’s leaders had asked the Port St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office to provide additional protection amid targeted attacks and forms of intimidation aimed at the center.
The sheriff’s office told WPTV that previous obligations left officers without sufficient personnel to accommodate. Now that those commitments are no longer there, law enforcement will consider the request, he said.
“Will someone have to be killed for the Sheriff to provide safety and security to this Mosque?” Ruiz asked. “Muslims are part of the community just like everyone else. It is his duty and responsibility to ensure the safety of all his citizens.”
Ruiz said CAIR is planning to file a complaint with the Department of Justice.