Suspect in antisemitic attack moons Detroit judge as bond is revoked

The suspect charged in an antisemitic attack in Bloomfield Township last week mooned a Wayne County judge Tuesday during a hearing in a separate case involving a charge of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer two years ago.

Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, of Dearborn, appeared via video at a pretrial hearing in Wayne County Circuit Court before Judge Regina Thomas in a case that originally involved several assault charges as well as assaulting and resisting a police officer.

On Monday, Chokr made anti-Jewish and explicit remarks to the magistrate in 48th District Court in Bloomfield Township during his arraignment and flashed his middle finger via video. Bond was set at $1 million in that case involving a Friday incident when police said he drove to Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township yelling at Jewish children and adults in a threatening manner, saying they would die and using racial slurs.

On Tuesday, Chokr again was abusive, but was on mute, and so his comments couldn't be heard. He showed his middle finger and then turned around while still looking into camera, pulled down his pants, displaying his backside to the camera, which was seen on the court's livestream.

"And now he has removed his pants to show the court his backside," Judge Thomas said. She then cut off his video feed, saying: "I'm putting him in a waiting room."

Judge Regina Thomas speaks during court hearing of Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, in Wayne County Circuit Court on Dec. 6, 2022. Chokr appeared via video stream and at one point mooned the judge. She revoked his bond in case involving an incident in 2020. Chokr has been charged in a separate case involving an antisemitic attack last week in Bloomfield Township.
Judge Regina Thomas speaks during court hearing of Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, in Wayne County Circuit Court on Dec. 6, 2022. Chokr appeared via video stream and at one point mooned the judge. She revoked his bond in case involving an incident in 2020. Chokr has been charged in a separate case involving an antisemitic attack last week in Bloomfield Township.

More:Police: Dearborn suspect told people at Michigan synagogue they were 'going to die'

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Judge Thomas revoked his bond, citing his behavior at the hearing and also his alleged actions at Temple Beth El. She said "he seems to be mentally ill."

"I don't know why anyone would think that is appropriate for them to pull their pants down and show the court their behind," Thomas said.

Chokr's attorney, Duane Johnson, said of the Temple Beth El incident: "He indicates that he was merely expressing his First Amendment rights and freedoms of speech."

Johnson added that "a mental health evaluation probably would be a good thing."

Judge Thomas responded: "Let me say that we are free to say whatever we want to say, but we are not free from the consequences."

"If we're doing things that are unsafe ... we are infringing on other people's rights," she said. "We don't get to say and do whatever we want to say without the consequences of those actions. And so that's where your client finds himself today. He exercised his rights, I'm exercising my right to give him a consequence for that. Nothing that any of us do in this life is without consequence."

Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, of Dearborn, moons the courtroom and Judge Regina Thomas while she was speaking during a court hearing on Dec. 6, 2022, involving a charge of obstructing, assaulting and/or resisting police. Chokr has also been charged in a separate case involving an anti-Semitic attack in Bloomfield Township against Jewish children and adults.
Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, of Dearborn, moons the courtroom and Judge Regina Thomas while she was speaking during a court hearing on Dec. 6, 2022, involving a charge of obstructing, assaulting and/or resisting police. Chokr has also been charged in a separate case involving an anti-Semitic attack in Bloomfield Township against Jewish children and adults.

In the 2020 case, several charges of assault with a deadly weapon were initially filed, but were later dismissed, a prosecutor and Johnson said during the hearing. Tuesday's hearing did not provide details on what the 2020 incident was about.

During Tuesday's hearing, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor said before the mooning that there are "some serious concerns about the defendant's behavior. ... he harassed and threatened people in the Jewish community saying egregious things. He posted videos and statements on Instagram where he talks about buying guns."

Chokr also said that for Jews, "the storm is coming to wipe you all out of our lives," the prosecutor said.

Contact Niraj Warikoo:nwarikoo@freepress.com or Twitter @nwarikoo

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Dearborn man charged in antisemitic attack moons Detroit judge