Troy police: Man attacked 7-11 manager because he is Muslim

53-year-old Farmington Hills man charged with ethnic intimidation, assault and battery

TROY, Mich. - A 53-year-old Farmington Hills man is accused of threatening to kill a Troy 7-Eleven clerk and attacking the store manager because they are Muslims.

Police say James Tree entered the store on Crooks Road Friday evening and approached the counter to buy beer. Tree directed a number of ethnic slurs at the clerk and threatened to kill him because he is a Muslim, police said.

The manager told Tree to leave the store, but that didn't go over well. Police say Tree went around the counter and started attacking the manager. Tree allegedly punched the manager several times in the face with a closed fist while making more offensive remarks about Muslims.

The clerk and manager eventually overpowered Tree, removed him from the store and locked him out. Police received a 911 call from the store and the hold-up alarm also was received. Tree fled to a nearby gas station where officers found him and arrested him.

Police say he continued to make derogatory remarks about Muslims during his arrest.

Police say the store manager suffered head and facial injuries. He was treated by paramedics but was not transported to a hospital.

Tree is charged with two counts of ethnic intimidation and one count of assault and battery. He was arraigned this week and was given a $25,000 cash/surety bond, or 10 percent. Police say he was under the influence of alcohol during the attack. A preliminary breath test showed he had a .16 blood alcohol level.

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