Wednesday, November 29, 2006

1 male charged with 3 felonies for assault on Detroit Muslim

Detroit man charged in beating case

November 29, 2006

By Niraj Warikoo and Naomi R. Patton

Free Press Staff Writers

A Detroit man suspected of beating a 51-year-old neighbor while hurling ethnic insults at him was charged Wednesday with home invasion in the first degree and assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

Combined, the two charges carry a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Ernest Domenech, 19 of Detroit, is expected to be arraigned in the case later this afternoon, according to a news release from the office of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Shafick Shoaib, 51 of Detroit, said he was beated up on Monday at his home on Piedmont by a group of men who made anti-Arab and anti-Muslim remarks while assaulting him. Shoaib, a U.S. citizen, was born in Egypt and is Muslim, while his alleged assailants are white.

Domenech, speaking on Tuesday from the Wayne County Jail, said he was not at home when the beating occurred.

"I wasn't there at the time," he said. "I went to the store."

Police are investigating another suspect who may have been involved in the attack, according to the news release.

“Mr. Shoaib is a long-time resident of the Warrendale area of Detroit and never had trouble with anyone until the defendant moved into the neighborhood," Worthy said in a statement. "This case is an extremely ugly neighborhood dispute that culminated in the defendant becoming violent. The primary motive for the home invasion and the brutal attack was because the defendant became upset about some words the victim allegedly said."

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has asked prosecutors to charge the suspect with a hate crime.

But Worthy said that "while the evidence shows there were some ethnic insults uttered during the assault they do not support the two-year misdemeanor charge of ethnic intimidation."

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