Officials Consider Hate Crime Charges After Bus Stop Stabbing In Southfield; Man Allegedly Asked 'Are You Muslim?"
SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) - Investigators are trying to determine if a double stabbing that took place outside of Northland Center Mall was religiously motivated.
Police say the incident unfolded around 10:30 p.m. Saturday at a bus stop outside of the mall on Greenfield Road just north of 8 Mile Road in Southfield.
When officers arrived, they found two men suffering from stab wounds. One victim, a 52-year-old Detroit man, suffered wounds to the head, neck and back, while the other victim, a 51-year-old Detroit man, suffered a wound to the hand.
A short time later, Southfield police on patrol in the area located the suspect, 39-year-old Terrence Thomas, walking in the area of Greenfield and 7 Mile roads. He was taken into custody without further incident. Officers also recovered two knives from the suspect.
Both victims were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries and have since been released.
Police say the victims indicated that Thomas made several comments about his religion and asked them about their religious beliefs just moments before the assault. According to reports, Thomas allegedly started stabbing the men when they replied that they weren't Muslim.
It doesn't appear Thomas and the victims knew each other prior to the incident, according to police.
The Southfield Police Department has contacted the FBI to determine if any federal laws, including hate crime laws, were violated.
Thomas, of Detroit, was arraigned Tuesday on two counts of assault with intent to murder, one count of carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent and possession of marijuana. Bond was set at$1 million. He's due back in court for a preliminary exam on March 4.
An investigation is ongoing. Anyone who might have witnessed the incident or who has any other information is urged to contact police at 248-796-5500.
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