Man accused of assaulting Rochester Hills homeowner for blue exterior lights faces felony charges

Homeowner says he was attacked for blue lights that show support for law enforcement

The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office is charging Justin Michael Brown, 24, of Rochester Hills, with two felonies after allegedly assaulting a homeowner on Sept. 27, 2020. Photo provided by the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office. (WDIV)

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – A 24-year-old man is facing two felony charges after a Rochester Hills man was allegedly attacked for using blue lights outside of his home in support of law enforcement.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office is charging Justin Michael Brown, of Rochester Hills, with one count of first-degree home invasion and one count of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

Brown is accused of harassing and assaulting the Rochester Hills homeowner, Tom Hayes, as he returned to his residence on Sunday.

Hayes, 30, says he picked up a pizza and was driving home when he saw three men walking down Milton Street. The homeowner pulled into his driveway and said one of the three men, now identified as Brown, started yelling at him regarding blue lights on the exterior of his home.

Hayes says that he does decorate the exterior of his home with blue lights to display support for law enforcement.

“He says, ‘Where are the white (explicit) at?’” Hayes said. “He refers to the blue lights, saying that I support the cops. ‘You hang out with cops. You know where the white (explicit) are at.’”

According to police, Hayes unlocked the front door and began to enter his home when Brown followed him inside and punched the homeowner in the back of the head. Brown also allegedly punched and broke a window on the front door before fleeing the scene on foot.

Rochester Hills homeowner says he was attacked for blue light in support of law enforcement

Police say Brown was located sometime after the incident when a deputy canvassing the area matched him to the suspect’s description. Brown initially complied with the deputy, but later fled on foot when the deputy attempted to take him into custody, officials said.

The deputy deployed his taser and then took Brown into custody without further incident, according to authorities.

Officials say Hayes positively identified Brown as the person who assaulted him.

Brown is being held at the Oakland County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.