Minneapolis police arrest hit-and-run hate crime suspect

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) said its officers arrested a suspect related to a hit-and-run that is being investigated as a possible hate crime. 

The incident left a pedestrian injured in the parking lot of the Alhikma Islamic Center around noon on Wednesday at 116 32nd Street West, according to police. 

Police say a 36-year-old man was getting things from his car when a minivan sped toward him. Surveillance footage released by the Council of American Islamic Relations shows the man trying to run away before the van swerved and struck him. 

The footage can be seen below:

The van is seen leaving the area after the incident. Police say the man struck by the van is expected to survive his injuries.

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara announced Wednesday night that a 37-year-old man was arrested hours after the incident. O'Hara added investigators are "familiar with the suspect" and that he has a history of "trespassing and acting erratically at the mosque and in the neighborhood."

"Based on the information gathered by our investigators so far, I am concerned that this crime may have been motivated by bias," O’Hara said in a written statement. "We won’t tolerate any crime in our city. But hate crimes and crimes against our houses of worship are particularly troubling because of the very real widespread fear they generate and the potential division they create among our residents."

Minneapolis police add that they are communicating with mosque staff and community leaders regarding this incident and that patrols have been enhanced in the area. 

Executive Director of CAIR Minnesota released the following statement: "This apparently intentional attack outside a religious institution must be investigated as a possible hate crime. We urge stepped-up security and increased vigilance at Islamic institutions statewide."