BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (FOX 2) - A man was charged with making antisemitic and racist threats to parents, young children and security at Temple Beth El; a preschool and synagogue in Bloomfield Hills.
35-year-old Hassan Yehia Chokr from Dearborn is charged with two counts of ethnic intimidation in connection to the threats made at Temple Beth El on Friday, Dec. 2.
The Bloomfield Township Police Department said they started their extensive investigation on Friday. Temple Beth El, Jewish Community Security, and The Jewish Federation are sharing ongoing security and communication efforts according to police.
The security director at Temple Beth El called 911 around 9 a.m. Friday, and while police were still on the phone officers found the suspect and pulled him over. Officers at the temple collected witness statements.
Chokr was identified and police said they are aware of the social media posts circulating about the traffic stop. He was released from the scene pending further investigation and advised not to return to the Temple Beth El.
The Bloomfield Township Police Department collaborated with the Dearborn Police Department to continue the investigation and Chokr was arrested on a different day, police said. A search warrant was also executed on his home.
"We appreciate the assistance of our local and regional partners, especially the Dearborn Police Department," said the Bloomfield Twp Police Department. "We stand with the Jewish community in deploring this incident and behavior, and in any such situation we will seek to hold anyone accountable to the fullest extent of the law."
Evidence was presented to the Oakland County Prosecutor hours after the initial stop was made. The Prosecutor issued a warrant for two felony counts of ethnic intimidation.
"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."
Chokr is currently being held at the Oakland County Jail pending his arraignment.
"The Prosecutor’s office would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Bloomfield Township Police Department in coordination with the Dearborn Police Department, which ensured that this defendant will remain in custody until he is arraigned," said the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.