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Arson, Hate Crime Investigation After Windows Smashed And Fire Set At Buddhist Temple In Little Tokyo

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Police are searching for the suspect who set a fire and smashed a window at a downtown Los Angeles Buddhist temple, which is also home to a preschool.

The facility has been closed to religious services due to the pandemic, but there was someone inside who heard the attack and extinguished the fire.

The incident, which happened at the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in the 500 block of East Third Street, is being investigated as a hate crime and arson.

Officer Mike Lopez with the Los Angeles Police Department said the male suspect jumped the gate to the temple, lit a fire and damaged several metal lanterns, among other property.

A minister who heard the attack and came out to investigate put out the fire that had been set to the wooden lantern stands, according to temple officials.

The suspect was described as a male wearing a black baseball hat, a gold or yellow shirt and black shorts, fled the scene on foot, Lopez said. No other descriptive information was immediately available.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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