Arson Suspect Arrested for Friday Morning Fire in Cape Girardeau

A suspect has been arrested in connection to the suspicious fire that occurred on Friday at the Islamic Center on North West End Boulevard in Cape Girardeau. The suspect was identified as 42 year-old Nicholas John Proffitt. He was arrested at 6: 40 p.m. on Monday. The suspect is facing charges of felony burglary in the first degree, felony arson in the 1st degree and property damage in the 1st degree- hate-crime. Officials identified the incident as a hate crime, saying Proffitt was motivated by the religion of the people who hold worship services in the building.  A probable cause statement revealed that a witness who helped police identify Proffitt as a suspect says he has a history of making Anti-Muslim derogatory remarks. Documents also state that this is not the first time Proffit has been charged with a hate crime against the Islamic Center. Proffitt was sentenced to three years behind bars for throwing rocks through the windows of the center in 2009, which damaged the center and a car parked near the building. Proffitt is being held without bond at the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

Photo Gallery