Man charged with ethnic intimidation after antisemitic incident at Bloomfield Hills synagogue

Subject in custody at Oakland County Jail

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – A Dearborn man has been arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation following an antisemitic incident at a synagogue in Bloomfield Hills.

The Bloomfield Township Police Department and the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office have provided an update on an antisemitic incident that took place outside of Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills on Friday.

Oakland County Prosecutor Karen D. McDonald has charged Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, with two counts of ethnic intimidation after antisemitic and racist threats were made outside of the Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills on Friday.

Police received a 911 call at 8:57 a.m. on Friday from the security director at Temple Beth El in regard to the incident.

Officers conducted a traffic stop and identified the subject while additional officers collected witness statements at the scene.

“We are aware of the social media posts and videos of this traffic stop that are circulating. Our officers accomplished the goal of identifying the subject while using de-escalation techniques to diffuse the subject.,” the department said in a statement. “We are unable to comment on specific investigative techniques, but we were able to assess that subsequent to the traffic stop the subject would not be an imminent threat to the community.”

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Following the traffic stop, officials say, the police department continued their investigation and presented the evidence they found as well as additional information from the Dearborn Police Department to the Oakland County Prosecutor and the subject was taken into custody.

Oakland County Prosecutor, Karen McDonald, says the charges stem from the 35-year-old making antisemitic and racist threats to parents, young children, and security personnel at a preschool and synagogue.

“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,” stated 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.”

The subject is currently lodged at the Oakland County Jail and the prosecutor’s office says he will remain in custody until he is arraigned.

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit addressed the incident in a Facebook post on Saturday and said:

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About the Author:

Morgan is a Digital Editor and has been with WDIV since May of 2022. She is also studying political science and communications at Wayne State University.