A Michigan prosecutor has declined to charge a Detroit Muslim with a hate crime after allegedly stabbing two other individuals at a bus stop because of religious differences.
The defendant, Terrence Lavaron Thomas, 39 and a Muslim, “asked the victims what religion they were” before he reportedly stabbing them, Nick Loussia, Deputy Chief of Police for the Southfield Police Department told Michigan Live.
Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper has, however, charged Thomas with two counts of assault with intent to murder and carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent for the brutal attack. He has also been charged with possession of marijuana.
His bond has been set at $1 million.
The evidence doesn’t support a 2-year felony charge of ethnic intimidation, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton, who said that the argument started over “bad breath and bad teeth” before it “deescalated to a physical altercation.”
The FBI is also looking into the matter for possible federal violations.
“We’re taking all of the logical investigative steps with regards to the sorts of violations we investigate,” David Porter, spokesman for the Detroit FBI field office, said Thursday. “I’m not saying anything beyond we are investigating the matter.”
Just prior to the moment Thomas assaulted the victims, both males, 52 and 51, he “made several comments about his religion and asked the victims about their religious beliefs,” the police told reporters.
According to Michigan Live:
When police arrived to the scene Saturday night, they found that the 52-year-old victim had been stabbed in the head, neck and back. The 51-year-old victim had been stabbed in the hand.
Both men were taken to Providence Hospital by paramedics, and have since been released with non-life-threatening injuries.
Southfield police located Thomas “a short time after (the) incident” and was taken into custody “without incident.”
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