Oklahoma City police arrested a Norman man suspected of constructing a cross then setting it on fire in his boss' yard.
On December 27, a man called 911 after seeing something suspicious outside his neighbor's home. The witness said just before midnight, he saw a man carrying a shovel in the 16000 block of Glimmer Circle in Oklahoma City. The witness thought it was odd, so he went into his house to retrieve his gun and call 911.
When the man returned, he saw a large cross had been placed in his neighbor's front yard, and set on fire. He also saw someone running to a car. The neighbor told the suspect to freeze, but the suspect kept running, jumped into a car and drove away.
When police arrived, they spoke to the victim. He told police the person responsible for the burning cross may be 37-year-old Joshua Brown. The victim said Brown works for him and had recently been disciplined at work for job-related issues. The victim also told police someone had poured two cans of paint on his driveway just two weeks earlier.
Police went to Brown's house in Norman. They placed Brown in a patrol car, and his wife agreed to let officers search the house. Outside the garage, officers found wiring that matched the material used on the burning cross. They also found freshly-cut wood that matched the wood used to make the cross.
The suspect's car was also the same color, make and model the neighbor saw driving away from the scene earlier that evening.
When police searched the car, they found a loaded hunting rifle with a scope. A spent shell casing was also in the floorboard. When police told the victim, he said he feared Brown may have planned to use the burning cross to lure him out of the house, and then shoot him.
Police arrested Brown and booked him into the Oklahoma County jail on complaints of third-degree arson, endangering a person while committing arson, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.
The case was not classified as a hate crime because the victim is white.