Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Walid comments on need for Federal probe into attack on Detroit Muslim

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006611290312

Detroiter beaten outside his home
Muslim leaders call it a hate crime

November 29, 2006

BY NAOMI R. PATTON

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER


There are at least two versions of how Shafik Shoaib was beaten Monday evening in front of his home in the Warrendale neighborhood on Detroit's west side. One of them, if true, could constitute a federal crime.

At a news conference Tuesday, area Muslim leaders called the beating a hate crime. They allege that a group of 10 white men repeatedly swore at Shoaib and told him "go back to where you came from."

But the neighbor involved in the incident, Kelly DuVall, 40, tells a different story. She said Shoaib started the argument when he admonished her about smoking on her front lawn near his children.

Both DuVall and Shoaib, 51, said this isn't the first clash between them since DuVall moved to the neighborhood in February.

Detroit police have arrested one man, Ernest Domenech, 19, who lives in DuVall's home and is engaged to her daughter, Angela.

At the news conference in front of Shoaib's Piedmont Street home, Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the men used profanity and slurs, saying Shoaib is an Arab, a Muslim and wasn't American.

"They beat an American citizen like a dog in front of his children," Walid said. "There is no excuse."

Walid said CAIR wants the incident to be investigated by local and federal authorities as a hate crime.

During the news conference, Shoaib sat on his front porch with crutches, a broken, bruised nose and swollen eyes. He also suffered a sprained right knee, a fractured left leg and cuts to his head.

His blood-soaked clothes sat in a bag at his feet. Drops of blood and broken glass remained on the porch of the home where Shoaib has lived for 17 years. The bottom of his screen door was kicked in.

His wife and four of his children, ranging in age from 4 to 11 years old, were home during the attack.

"They said, 'If you are a man, just come out,' " Shoaib said. "I'm scared about my life, my kids. I don't feel normal anymore."

Shoaib said his family called Detroit police about five times during the attack, but no one responded before the ambulance took him to Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn.

James Tate, a Detroit police spokesman, said Shoaib identified Domenech as one of his attackers. But Domenech, speaking by phone 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."

And DuVall and Mark Floyd, 37, of Westland, said one man -- not 10 -- beat Shoaib. They said they gave his name to police.

Walid has a meeting planned with Wayne County prosecutors today and has spoken with the Detroit-based FBI special agent that handles hate crimes.

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