On Friday, a guy harassed individuals entering one of the largest synagogues in the Detroit region. Local police waived him away.
On Sunday, he was detained on suspicion of “ethnic intimidation.”
Two days after a video surfaced showing local police investigating and releasing Hassan Chokr despite his claims that he meant to go to another synagogue, Chokr was detained on Sunday.
Families were dropping off kids at the early childhood facility on Friday morning when Chokr allegedly yelled antisemitic and racial threats outside Temple Beth El, a Reform synagogue in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
The architecturally noteworthy Beth El, the first synagogue in Michigan, towers over Bloomfield Hills, one of Detroit’s most largely Jewish suburbs.
According to Rabbi Mark Miller, senior rabbi of Temple Beth El, “he was angry and extremely abusive, shouting obscenity about ‘F Israel’ and ‘F the Jews’ — and threatening them, shrieking at them that if they support Israel, they will pay or he will get them.”
Miller claimed that Chokr also referred to security personnel at the synagogue in a discriminatory manner.
The event occurs amid a wave of terrifying threats to synagogues across several states.
A man who reportedly threatened synagogues online was detained after coming to New York City and purchasing guns, while an 18-year-old who had sworn loyalty to ISIS was charged with making a comprehensive threat that affected every synagogue in the state.
In a statement announcing the charges against Chokr on Sunday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said, “Anti-semitic and racist threats or ethnic intimidation of any type will not be accepted in our society.”
The first hate crimes office was established by McDonald’s in the Detroit suburbs last year.
Following complaints about how the Bloomfield Township Police Department handled their initial run-in with Chokr when they responded to a call from the security director of Beth El, charges were brought against him.
According to a statement the department shared on Facebook on Friday, “the person was released from the scene pending further investigation and was told not to return to the Temple Beth El.”
According to a police statement and local media sources, Chokr was detained until his arraignment on two counts of ethnic intimidation in his hometown of Dearborn, about 30 miles from Bloomfield Hills.