Dearborn man harassed families at Bloomfield Township daycare, police say

A 35-year-old Dearborn man was arrested after yelling at and insulting families at a Bloomfield Township daycare last week, leading to charges of ethnic intimidation.

Hassan Yehia Chokr allegedly harassed both parents and students at the Temple Beth El facility Friday morning, leading to a 911 call and traffic stop later in the day. 

He's still awaiting arraignment for the threats and is currently housed in Oakland County jail.

Disturbing details about the incident began to trickle in over the weekend after Chokr was arrested on Saturday.

According to police, an emergency call came into the Oakland County dispatch facility from the security director at the community center. While still on the call, Bloomfield Township officers located the suspect and conducted a traffic stop. 

At the same time, officers also took witness statements at the center. According to Rabbi Mark Miller with the community center, Chokr was asking people if they supported Israel.

After ensuring that Chokr wasn't a threat to the community, they allowed him to go. But based on a follow-up investigation and evidence from the Dearborn Police Department, Chokr was eventually arrested on Saturday. 

Based on findings over the weekend, Chokr was charged with two felony counts of ethnic intimidation by the Oakland County Prosecutor.

"Anti-semitic and racist threats or ethnic intimidation of any kind, will not be tolerated in our community, and every such incident will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Oakland County Prosecutor Karen D. McDonald. "Our office created Oakland County’s first Hate Crimes Unit a little over a year ago to give us the resources needed to call out, investigate and prosecute these serious crimes."

MORE: Suspect on the run after shooting woman and her boyfriend during argument in Detroit

Police said Chokr also filmed part of the encounter between him and police and posted it on social media, arguing he was exercising free speech. 

They declined to provide specific comment on the interaction, but said its officers used "de-escalation techniques" to diffuse the situation.