August 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Michigan man says he's innocent of attack on Muslim woman

Mason A Michigan man charged with ethnic intimidation in an attack on a Muslim woman says hes innocent.

Jonathan Deuel of Mason tells WILX-TV he didnt touch the woman or verbally abuse anyone. Ethnic intimidation is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. He also was charged Thursday with misdemeanor assault and battery.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says three people attacked a 26-year-old woman in a Meridian Township parking lot July 19. It says they attempted to pull her dress and face veil off before knocking her down and shouting expletives at her.

The 29-year-old Deuel says he tripped and fell toward the woman, startling her. He says he fled because he feared arrest on two outstanding warrants.