Man arrested in connection to hate crime against Nepali-Indian store in east Charlotte

- Police have made an arrest in the arson and hate crime incident that occurred at a local Charlotte business Thursday night. 

Police have charged Curtis Flournoy, 32, with burning of building of trade, malicious damage by use of an incendiary material, felony breaking and entering, ethnic intimidation and anonymous or threatening letters. 

At some point during the investigation, detectives received information that helped them identify Flournoy as the suspect in this case. 

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, officers were called about 9:59 p.m. to the Central Market business, located at 5718 Albemarle Road, in reference to a building fire. 

Upon arrival, officers were advised by Charlotte Fire Department that the fire had been contained to the front door and had already burnt itself out by the time they arrived.

Police said one of the door’s window panes had been broken out from where the suspect had thrown a rock through it.  A note was also left at the scene near the door that stated the suspect did not want any refugee business owners and that they would torture the owner if they did not leave and go back to where they came from.  The suspect signed the letter “White America”. 

"This is a place where I make money to run my family. So if somebody hit this store, it means they hit my stomach," Kamal Dhimal said, a refugee from Bhutan who came to this country, opened up a store and became a US citizen all for a better life. Now, he's seeing hatred up close and personal. 

"They don't know our pain, our sorrow, our feeling so they did it," he said. 

No one was physically injured as a result of this incident. 

"I feel we are stronger than them who did it. We are more powerful than them who did it," Dhimal said. 

A GoFundMe account has been created to help Kamal Dhimal and their family store. If you would like to help, CLICK HERE!

Detectives are asking anyone with additional information concerning this case or the suspect to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. 

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