Oakland County Hate Crime Unit handling case where Dearborn man allegedly made threats at Jewish temple

Suspect Hassan Chokr unleashed a rant in court, enraged by a $1 million cash bond levied against him after being charged Monday with two counts of ethnic intimidation.

Chokr, 35, was pulled over by Bloomfield Township Police Friday after investigators say he was driving through the parking lot at Temple Beth El, a Synagogue – on an anti-Semetic tirade delivered to parents dropping off children at daycare, and security guards who tried to intervene.

"In the 23 years I've been in this job, I've never heard such vulgar language directed at people," said Chief James Gallagher, Bloomfield Township police.

The case was submitted to Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s office Friday – Chokr was arrested Saturday morning.

"I think everyone - all of us, can tell the difference between somebody exercising their right to free speech and somebody driving to a preschool at a temple and shouting hate speech and threatening somebody," said Karen McDonald, Oakland County Prosecutor.

McDonald created a special Hate Crime Unit in 2021 to handle these types of cases - including Chokr’s - in response, to a rise in what she said is white supremacist extremism.

Prosecutors within the unit are specially trained.

Another arm of the unit partnered with law enforcement to train investigators how to spot, and investigate hate crimes - then present them for charges.

"I think that it's extremely important that we call it out, particularly right now," McDonald said. "What's going on in our state and in the country, it is very important that we name it, and we say, 'That's not okay,' and we're going to hold you accountable."

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FOX 2 spoke with sources close to Hassan Chokr – they say he has a history of mental illness, and has been in and out of psychiatric facilities, and police custody.

He allegedly started this bizarre, anti-Semetic behavior three years ago during the pandemic.

Hassan Chokr

Hassan Chokr