BUENA PARK, Calif. (KABC) --A Buena Park man who vandalized a Sikh temple after the San Bernardino attacks has been sentenced to probation, 240 hours of graffiti cleanup and 80 hours of community service at the place of worship he targeted.
Community members found graffiti on the exterior of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha in the 7100 block of Orangethorpe Avenue in December.
Brodie Durazo, 21, pleaded guilty to vandalizing the Sikh temple with graffiti, including an anti-ISIS expletive.
Durazo was arrested on a felony count for vandalizing a religious property, but the court reduced the charges.
"We're not satisfied with the counts being reduced to misdemeanors. We believe it a was felony conduct, and that these sorts of crimes should be taken seriously," Deputy District Attorney Jess Rodriguez said.
Local Sikh leaders said Durazo came to the temple and apologized, and that they're satisfied with the punishment.
"We want him to rehabilitate and learn and love people, rather than going to jail and hating us that he went to jail because of us," Jaspreet Singh said.
The Sikh community believes the vandalism was a case of mistaken identity. They say they're often wrongly associated with terrorist groups because of their beards and turbans.
"People always think that the person who wear a turban is somehow related to a terrorist group or ISIS but they're not," Inderjot Singh said.
After cleaning up the graffiti, community members put up signs identifying the building as a Sikh temple.
"Let them know who we are and not have them have any confusion about our religion or faith," Jaspreet Singh said.
Sikh temple leaders say they forgive Durazo and hope their actions encourage others to show compassion and understanding.
"Take the hate out of your hearts. That's what faith is all about, that's what any religion is all about, love," Jaspreet Singh said.
Members of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha say one of the things they hope Durazo does during his community service is to help them educate the community about the values of the Sikh religion.