Shop owner in spitting incident suspended from selling at Detroit's Eastern Market

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News
Robert Stanzler, owner of Detroit Mercantile.


The leaders of the Detroit’s Eastern Market district have suspended a business owner from selling at the market after he was filmed spitting on an African-American security guard this week.

Detroit Mercantile Co. owner Robert Stanzler “was recorded acting in a vile and disgusting manner” toward Ibrahim Mission on Tuesday, Eastern Market Corp. President Dan Carmody said in a statement posted on Facebook. “We give no support to such behavior.”

Carmody said the business owner violated the group's policy for vendor conduct, which directs them “to act respectfully towards their neighbors, staff, fellow vendors, and customers.”

As a result, Stanzler’s Detroit Manufacturing Co. “is immediately suspended from selling at the market,” Carmody wrote.

Stanzler had been filmed raising his middle finger and spitting on Mission, who was enforcing parking rules.

A day after the guard posted footage of the incident online, Stanzler apologized in a statement, saying "escalated parking challenges" and a conflict related to parking spaces between his business and a neighboring one angered him.

"Not only did I offend Mr. Mission by my actions, but I owe an apology to those who witnessed the incident, my staff, fellow business owners in Eastern Market, residents of Detroit; and friends and family who may bear this burden with me," Stanzler wrote.

Detroit police arrested Stanzler as a result of the incident. He was released Wednesday.