DETROIT – The owner of a Detroit business faced a judge Tuesday after being charged with assault and battery Sunday.
Robert Stanzler, 50, of Ferndale, was arraigned in 36th District Court. He received a $5,000 conditional bond and is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 2.
Stanzler, one of the co-founders of clothing brand Made In Detroit and owner of the Detroit Mercantile Co., was charged with assault Sunday after spitting on a security guard July 17.
Video shows Stanzler spitting and flipping his middle finger during an altercation with 29-year-old Ibrahim Mission, an Eastern Market security guard who was working at a business event.
Prosecutors say Stanzler was allegedly upset over parking. When Mission told Stanzler to express his complaints with the building owner, Stanzler flipped him off and spit on him.
The altercation was captured on video and shown to police. Stanzler was arrested but released later the same day.
Stanzler released this statement a short time after the incident:
"I want to express my deepest apology to Mr. Ibrahim Mission, for the incident that occurred on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 during the course of an argument I had with him over parking spaces at my place of business in Eastern Market. I take full responsibility for my actions, and want to convey regret for my gross and despicable behavior during the course of my argument with Mr. Mission.
My anger over a growing conflict pertaining to parking spaces between a neighboring business, got the best of me. I attempted to address the matter with Mr. Mission, but things quickly escalated and I lashed out.
My behavior was unconscionable, offensive and disrespectful. Not only did I offend Mr. Mission by my actions, but I owe an apology to those who witnessed the incident, my staff, fellow business owners in Eastern Market, residents of Detroit; and friends and family who may bare this burden with me.
After the incident I attempted to apologize, however due to the heated circumstances, my apology was not properly conveyed.
Moving forward, I plan to speak to Mr. Mission directly to again convey my sincere apology. This unfortunate incident originates with the escalating parking challenged within district."
The Eastern Market owners Scott Rutterbush, Rakesh Lala and David Brown issued a statement saying Mission was demeaned by Stanzler and Stanzler initiated the altercation.
"The situation initiated by Mr. Robert Stanzler was unfortunate, disappointing and insulting on every level. His behavior represents what we as a community, city and society should work to abandon, not embrace. Our concern now is for our employee, Ibrahim Mission who was demeaned by Mr. Stanzler, and our guests who were subjected to this behavior. We won’t tolerate or condone this type of behavior."