By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – Taha Shitawi, 34, of Dearborn was charged with the stabbing of five people March 21 at Taiga Hookah Lounge, 6761 Greenfield Road in Detroit.
Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Kim Worthy arraigned Shitawi March 24 in Detroit’s 36th District Court with five counts of assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and felonious assault.
The victims, who are all Arabic, include a 32-year-old man, two 31-year-old men and a 25-year-old man, all of Dearborn, and a 29-year-old Shelby Township woman.
Shitawi allegedly got into a verbal argument about 3:30 a.m. March 21 with several people inside the hookah lounge, which spilled out into the parking lot, where he pulled a knife, stabbing eight people before fleeing the scene.
He was arrested March 22 by Detroit police officers at Beaumont Hospital in Taylor, where he had sought treatment for his injuries.
Shitawi has a probable cause conference April 5 and a preliminary examination April 12 before Judge Kenyetta Stanford Jones in 36th District Court.
Worthy said the case exhibits disturbing violence.
“I am asking people to think before you react,” she said. “Violence is never the answer, whether it is with a gun or a knife. These crimes have life-changing and devastating consequences for victims, their families, our entire community and the perpetrator.”