Witnesses testify in ethnic intimidation case after man made threats outside Bloomfield Hills temple

Hassan Chokr appeared quietly in court on Monday

PONTIAC, Mich. – Witnesses testified on Monday in the case against the man accused of making antisemitic threats outside of Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills.

Hassan Chokr, 35, has been charged with two felony counts of ethnic intimidation after he made antisemitic and racist threats to parents, young children and security personnel at Temple Beth El on Friday, Dec. 2.

In previous court appearances, the 35-year-old had multiple outbursts including yelling at and mooning the judge.

Related: Man charged with ethnic intimidation goes off on Oakland County judge during hearing

On Monday, however, he sat quietly next to his attorney and listened as Temple Beth El parents explained what happened that day.

Videos of Chokr’s antisemitic rants were played in court as another video taken by Chokr has recently surfaced.

The video shows Chokr driving through the Temple Beth El parking lot as parents drop their children off for school.

“I remember walking with my daughters and a very loud voice behind me screaming, ‘Do you support the state of Israel?’ I said yes and turned around. He just started screaming ‘How dare you? You’re doomed, you’ll pay for this,” Julie Kramer, a Temple Beth El member explained. “I continued to hear that over and over, as it was directed at my daughters and I, and then I could continue to hear, as he moved a little bit further away, ‘F Israel, F Jews.’”

The hearing on Monday was to determine whether Chokr should be bound over for trial.

His attorney acknowledged that what he said was deplorable. “It was awful. It was nasty. You know, it was disgusting. But arguing in this country, Honor, this is not Afghanistan or Iraq,” defense attorney Nabih Ayad said. “We have something called the First Amendment. And the First Amendment, your Honor, gives us the liberty to say what we want.”

The judge in this case says she will issue her opinion in the coming weeks, she did not give one in court on Monday.

In addition to the ethnic intimidation charges, Chokr is facing a federal charge for lying on paperwork to try to qualify for multiple guns.

Read: Man who mooned judge after threatening preschoolers in Bloomfield Hills tried to buy 3 guns, feds say

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