Funds being sought for Charlotte store owner hit by hate crime, arson

Funds being sought for Charlotte store owner hit by hate crime, arson
(Source: Christian Flores/WBTV)
(Source: Christian Flores/WBTV)
(Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
(Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)

CHARLOTTE, NC(Lavendrick Smith/Charlotte Observer) - As police continued this weekend to investigate a hate crime and arson at an east Charlotte store, some in the community are trying to raise money for the shop owner to repair his business.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are still looking for a man who set fire to a store in east Charlotte and left behind a racist note for the store's owner.

The man threw a rock into Central Market and started a fire at the door. He left behind a note demanding immigrants move away, threatening to torture immigrants and refugees, and signed it "White America."

Police are investigating the incident as arson and a hate crime against the store's owner, Kamal Dhimel, a refugee from Bhutan.

The man suspected of the hate crime was seen in the surveillance footage wearing a gray hoodie under a black coat, with light jeans and black shoes. Police described him as black, about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 200 pounds. He also has a short afro and a goatee, police said.

Authorities did not provide any updates to the case on Saturday.

A person set up a GoFundMe page Saturday, seeking to raise $2,500 for Dhimel to repair his store.

"Let's show Mr. Dhimel what this country TRULY thinks of its immigrants," Erik Hovind, the page's creator, said in the description.