Dearborn man who allegedly harassed Jewish community now facing federal weapons charges

The 35-year-old Dearborn man already charged with ethnic intimidation is now facing federal weapons charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm and lying on a federal firearms form. 

Hassan Chokr had tried purchasing a shotgun, a rifle, and a semi-automatic pistol on Dec. 2 - the same day he visited the Temple Beth El synagogue in Bloomfield Hills and harassed both pre-schoolers and parents.

He allegedly shouted racist and anti-Semitic threats at those walking into the pre-school. Chokr's interactions with the justice system continued to spiral after he mooned a judge during a separate case days after his arrest. 

The U.S. District Attorney has since indicted Chokr on felony gun charges after his visit to Dearborn gun shop, allegedly saying the weapons he was attempting to purchase were for "God's wrath," a witness said.

The guns he was trying to purchase included a 12-gauge shotgun, a 5.6mm rifle, and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Chokr made three false statements on his federal firearms form - any of which would have prohibited him from possession a firearm. 

  • First, he falsely stated that he had not been previously convicted of a felony
  • Second, he falsely stated there were no felony charges currently pending against him
  • Third, he falsely stated he had never been committed to a mental institution

"In truth, Chokr was convicted in 2017 of Felony Financial Transaction Device – Stealing/Retaining Without Consent. He also has a charge of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault) currently pending against him in state court," a release from the attorney's office said.

In 2021, Chokr was also petitioned to a mental health treatment facility.

Chokr's request for firearms was denied following a background check at the gun shop - an easy decision for any responsible gun seller, one business owner said.

"Given the situation, it's a plain and simple example of not putting firearms in the wrong hands," said James Robinson of J.R. Firearm Exchange.

He faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 penalty if convicted. 

More coverage of Hassan Chokr

Chokr's interactions with parents in early December is another example of the increase in anti-Semitic threats made against the Jewish community. Sam Dubin of the Jewish Community Relations Council said the man's actions aren't new.

"In some ways an act such as this one at Temple Beth El was shocking, yet unsurprising," said Sam Dubin of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Chokr will be back in court later this month.