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Possible Hate Crime Suspected in Bus Stop Stabbing

Possible Hate Crime Suspected in Bus Stop Stabbing

Allegedly, a man asked two individuals at a bus stop whether they were Muslims before stabbing them on Saturday, the victims reportedly told police.

One 52-year-old Detroit man was stabbed five times; once in the neck, the face, and three times in the back, Eric Hawkins, Southfield Police Chief  said. A 51-year-old Detroit man who tried to assist the first man was stabbed in the hand. The attack happened around 10:30 p.m. near Northland Mall at 21500 Northwestern Highway.

Shortly thereafter, police took into custody 39-year-old Terrence Lavaron Thomas of Detroit, who is accused of stabbing the two men. At the time of his arrest, Thomas was carrying two knives and some marijuana. According to Southfield Police Department, Thomas informed them that he was Muslim.

“We are getting indications through my officers that the suspect was somewhat incoherent afterward, and so there’s a question about his stability,” Hawkins said.

Thomas was arraigned in 46th District Court on Thursday on two counts of assault with intent to murder, possession of a controlled substance, and one count of carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent.

Magistrate Jajonie-Daman set Thomas’ bond at $1 million cash/surety. A preliminary examination is scheduled for March 4.

Police have notified the FBI, who is also looking into the incident to see if hate-crime laws were violated, according to a news release Tuesday from Southfield Police Department.

“The victims in this case said that the suspect asked them if they were Muslim,” Hawkins said. “They responded that they were not, and then there was some back-and-forth between the victims and the suspect.”

“Then, the man started stabbing one of them,” he said. Police say they don’t believe the men knew Thomas, whom appears to have been acting alone. Both men have been released from Providence Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The FBI investigation may add federal charges to his docket if ethnic intimidation is believed to have been a factor.

Police detained Thomas shortly after the incident while he was walking in the area of Greenfield Road and 7 Mile. Two folding knives with blades about 3 inches long were found on his person, and one of the blades appeared to have been the weapon used in the stabbing, according to Hawkins.

By Stevenson Benoit

Source:
Detroit Free Press

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2015 by in Headlines, U.S. and tagged , , , .

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