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Police Search For Sikh Temple Vandal

LOS FELIZ (CBSLA) — Police Monday released the name of an at-large suspect allegedly caught on video vandalizing a Sikh temple in Los Feliz.

The suspect -- identified as 27-year-old Artyom Manukyan -- allegedly wrote a rambling message on Aug. 31 on a wall outside the Hollywood Sikh Temple at 1966 N. Vermont Ave., according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

He's now wanted for a hate crime and vandalism.

"I don't like what he did," said temple member Gurminder Seheren Singh.

Temple members say Manukyan lives nearby and actually came into the temple and ate with them last year. He even said so on the wall.

"He's a confused guy, he doesn't understand us. If he talked with us, come here, we can sit together. If he has questions, we'd answer," said Singh.

The LAPD needs the public's help finding Manukyan, who's believed to be hiding from police.  Investigators say he should be considered dangerous and could be mentally ill.

"The direct mentioning of the Sikh community and the derogatory terms combined with him threatening to slit someone's throat, obviously makes him a serious suspect we've got to take off the streets," said Capt. Bob Long, LAPD Major Crimes.

Meantime, worshipers at the temple hope Manukyan gets the help he needs and one day, comes to understand the Sikh community.

"I want the damage he has in mind, I want to cure that," said Singh. "It doesn't matter if you are Muslim, Hindu, or if you are Christian, everybody is welcome."

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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