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Man Arrested After Attempt to Blow Up Latter-day Saint Missionaries' Car

Man Arrested After Attempt to Blow Up Latter-day Saint Missionaries’ Car

A Connecticut man has been charged with a hate crime after admitting to setting a car used by missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on fire because he “disliked the Mormon faith.”

A witness getting ready for work early Monday noticed Samuel Vandeusen, 22, placing a lit rag in the gas tank of the 2022 Chevy Equinox used by the missionaries. Police arrived and quickly arrested Vandeusen, who admitted to wanting to blow up the car because he hated the missionaries proselyting and attempting to convert people in the area. Vandeusen claimed it was a “crime of passion.”

Vandeusen was charged with arson, breach of peace, criminal mischief, and deprivation of rights. Deprivation of rights is considered a hate crime in Connecticut.

The missionaries have not been identified, but no one was harmed during the incident. Police reports identified that the car belonged to the Church. There is currently one mission in the state, the Massachusetts Boston Mission. Approximately 15,625 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live in Massachusetts, comprising three stakes and 37 congregations.

Mugshot of Samuel Vandeusen

Vandeusen was held on a $250,000 bond Monday and scheduled to appear in court. No new information on the case has been released.

sameul-vandeusen-car-fire

 

The multi-family home where the missionaries lived in an apartment in the basement.

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