By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN —The reported assault at Kroger police are investigating will be not classified as a hate crime
“All of the facts have been presented to our law enforcement partners at the federal level and it has been determined that the elements of a hate crime for federal prosecution have not been met in this case,” according to a Dearborn Police Department press release. “Our investigation will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for consideration of possible charges.”
Police responded to Kroger, 15255 Michigan Ave., on Feb. 12 after receiving calls of a fight in progress inside the store about 6 p.m.
An Arab American man and his family were physically and verbally attacked by two white men while shopping at the store, police said.
The men allegedly yelled, “Go back to your country,” and told the daughter to “take the rag off your head.” The three men then began to throw punches at each other.
Kroger employees attempted to break up the fight, but the two men continued to throw punches at the Arab man. The young son of the Arab man tried to help his father but was held back by witnesses, police said.
The two men then fled before police arrived and no arrests were made. Two men from Taylor were questioned by police during the investigation.
“Although abusive language may have been exchanged as the altercation progressed, we have no credible statements or evidence, including the limited video available, to substantiate the claim that the altercation occurred due to the religion, race or ethnicity of any of the combatants,” the press release also stated.
“This type of situation could have been totally avoided had cooler heads prevailed,” Police Chief Ronald Haddad said. “This was an isolated incident that is uncommon at the store in question.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)