Richard Lloyd was charged with first degree arson charges. (ST. LUCIE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Diya TV) — A 64-year-old Florida man tried to set a convenience store on fire because he thought its owners were Muslim, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said.

Richard Lloyd told deputies he wanted to “run the Arabs out of our country,” so he pushed a dumpster in front of the store and lit its contents on fire, Mascara said.

Lloyd told police he assumed the store’s owners were Muslim, and that angered him because of “what they are doing in the Middle East,” Mascara said. The owners, in fact, were of Indian descent, not Middle Eastern. The sheriff said Lloyd’s mental health will be evaluated and the state attorney’s office will decide if this was a hate crime.

“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Lloyd made the assumption that the store owners were Arabic when, in fact, they are of Indian descent,” Mascara said. “Regardless, we will not tolerate violence based on age, race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, mental or physical disability.”

Hate crimes against Muslims surged by over 65% in 2015, according to the latest FBI statistics. Some religious leaders tie the crime spike to the rise of President Trump, who critics say fueled Islamophobia and racism as a candidate.

The fire was extinguished quickly, Mascara said the damage from the incident was minimal. Lloyd told investigators he planned to burn the building because he “was doing his part for America,” according to media outlet, WPEC.

Lloyd was charged with first degree arson and remained at the St. Lucie County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond as of late Saturday, according to records.