Charges: Moorhead mosque vandalism suspect says he wrote racist graffiti as 'joke'

A 22-year-old Moorhead man charged with vandalizing a Moorhead mosque with racist graffiti told police he did it as "a joke" and as a way to get a reaction. 

Benjamin Enderle, 22, faces one felony charge of criminal damage to property and one gross misdemeanor bias harassment charge.

According to the charges, the vandalism was discovered just after 5 a.m. Sunday morning. Upon arrival, police photographed the graffiti, in which someone spray painted anti-women, anti-Islam, racist and otherwise vulgar words and phrases on the exterior of the mosque.

Video surveillance showed Enderle arriving at the mosque just before midnight, police say. They did not show him actually painting the slurs, however.

Still photographs of Enderle were displayed to the public Sunday. Police also reviewed sales records for red spray paint and they found footage of a male buying said paint before noon Saturday. The person matched the photo released to the public.

Police also saw the suspect’s vehicle leave the scene, which they matched back to Enderle.

Police executed a search warrant just before 6 p.m. Tuesday where Enderle was taken into custody.

During an interview with police, Enderle admitted he spray painted the mosque as "a joke," according to the criminal complaint.

Enderle said he doesn’t "hate them," but did it to get a reaction from the community and media, police said.