'He Has Removed His Pants to Show the Court His Backside'

Michigan man accused of antisemitic attack has 2 chaotic court appearances
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2022 11:24 AM CST

A Michigan man suspected of carrying out an antisemitic attack Friday made headlines this week for mooning a judge in an unrelated case—and causing other disruptions. WXYZ reports that 35-year-old Hassan Yehia Chokr of Dearborn has been charged with two counts of ethnic intimidation after police say he showed up Friday morning outside the Temple Beth El preschool and synagogue in Bloomfield Township and started hurling antisemitic and racist slurs at a group of kids, parents, and security staff and making threats that they would die, per the Detroit Free Press. He was arrested, with Oakland County Prosecutor Karen D. McDonald noting afterward that such behavior "will not be tolerated in our community," per WXYZ.

Then came Monday, when Chokr showed up via video link for his arraignment, where he found out his bail was to be set at $1 million. That's when "things got heated," per Click on Detroit. The outlet reports that Chokr began screaming and cursing at the judge when he found that, even if he were to post bail, his social media activity would be restricted, which he claimed was a free-speech violation. "Remember, the way you're judging me, God will judge you the same way," he shouted. Tuesday proved even more chaotic than Monday.

The Free Press reports that Chokr headed to court again, also via video—this time for an unrelated case involving his alleged assault of a police officer two years ago. This time Chokr was muted while in front of Judge Regina Thomas—and so he flipped the bird at the camera, then turned around and mooned Thomas. "And now he has removed his pants to show the court his backside," Thomas reacted, before severing his video connection and saying she was "putting him in a waiting room." Thomas then noted that Chokr "seems to be mentally ill" and revoked his bond in that case. Chokr's lawyer, Duane Johnson, conceded that "a mental health evaluation probably would be a good thing." (More antisemitism stories.)

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