Texas man arrested for entering mosque, shouting obscenities, and wiping boots on prayer rugs

Mariano Talavera was arrested for trespassing a mosque in San Antonio, Texas(Bexar Country Sheriff's Office)

A man was arrested by the police on Tuesday after he trespassed on a mosque in San Antonio, Texas, hurled obscenities and then wiped his boots on prayer rugs.

Mariano Talavera, 38, was detained after he went inside the Islamic Center of San Antonio on Fairhaven Street, carrying an American flag and a large backpack, according to KENS5 Eyewitness News.

Talavera's trespassing prompted the Islamic Academy of San Antonio, which is yards away from the mosque, to cancel classes Thursday and Friday as the school reviewed security measures.

Solomon Hamide, president of the centre, said Talavera went into the men's prayer room and rubbed his boots on the carpet. He was asked to remove his shoes out of respect but proceeded to the women's prayer room and dragged his shoes on the carpet while shouting obscenities and cursing Islam.

This prompted the centre to call the police. Talavera claimed that he was at the center to worship.

"This guy did more than just walk on the rugs. He was cleaning his shoes on them, shouting profanity at the people, profanity at God," said Sarwat Husain, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of San Antonio.

Talavera was arrested for criminal trespassing on private property. He was previously convicted for resisting arrest in 2014.

Husain said hate crimes against Muslims in Texas have increased in recent weeks.

"We urge local law enforcement authorities to step up patrols in the area of the mosque and to meet with Muslim community leaders to discuss enhancing security measures," she said.

Husain said the incident is part of the backlash against the American Muslim community since the recent terror attacks in Paris.

Centre officials said they did not want to press charges against Talavera for fear of backlash.

There are about 10,000 Muslims in San Antonio, the report said.