CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arson detectives are investigating after they say someone left a threatening note and started a fire in front of an east Charlotte business.
According to CMPD, officers responded to a fire at the Central Market store, located in the 5700 block of Albemarle Road, just before 10 p.m. Thursday.
When officers arrived, Charlotte Fire Department crews advised them the fire had been contained to the front door and had already burned itself out when they reached the store.
Police say one of the door’s windows was shattered after a suspect threw a rock through it during the incident. According to investigators, a note was also left at the scene near the front door that said the suspect did not want refugee business owners and that they would torture the owner if they did not leave and go back to where they came from. CMPD says the suspect signed the letter from “White America.”
WCNC received a copy of the note left outside Central Market, which read the following:
Our newly elected president Donald Trump is our nation builder for white America. You all know that, we want our country back on the right track. We need to get rid of Muslims, Indians and all immigrants. Specially (sic), we don't want business run by refugees and immigrant any more(sic).
We are ready to wake up some of our great state including North Carolina and we will take care of the country. Immigrants and refugee are taking our job, doing our business and leaving us standard(sic). So, you are not allowed to do business any more(sic).
We know you are one and many of other immigrant doing business here. This is our warning. Leave the business and go back where you came from.
If you don't follow this warning then we are not responsible for the torture starting now.
God Bless America... ... ... ...White America"
Police say the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. No one was injured during the incident, police say. Officials with Charlotte Fire's investigation task force are also investigating.
CMPD says surveillance video of the incident was recovered and that it showed a black male suspect, who is approximately 5-foot-8, around 200 pounds, and has a short afro and goatee. The suspect was seen wearing a gray hoodie under a black coat with light jeans and black shoes.
Detectives ask anyone with additional information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.