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Man charged in Washington Township ATM attack, robbery

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Mount Clemens — A 23-year-old Bowling Green, Ky., man was charged Friday in the assault and robbery of a man at an automated teller machine last Saturday, officials said.

Zachariah Thornton was arraigned on a charge of assault with intent to rob in 42-1 District Court in Romeo, according to authorities. A judge ordered him held on a $100,000 bond and scheduled his next court date for Dec. 3.


If convicted, he faces up to life in prison for the crime, Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said in a statement.

Macomb County Sheriff's deputies said they were called at about 8 p.m. Saturday to the Chase Bank branch located at 8555 26 Mile Road to respond to a report of a stabbing.

After an investigation and talking to witnesses who tried to help the victim, a 41-year-old Shelby Township man, detectives learned he was stabbed while trying to retrieve money from an ATM. The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Smith said the suspect was a man dressed in black wore a face covering and gloves, approaching the victim from behind while he used the ATM. 

The man demanded the victim's money, but the victim tried to push his attacker away. The man then stabbed the victim with a knife before fleeing on foot, according to officials. Sheriff’s deputies used a canine unit to track the man and recovered articles of clothing investigators believe he wore during the assault, they said.

Deputies tracked him to an area on 26 Mile and surveillance video showed him in distinguishable clothing that detectives later used to identify him.

Officials said the suspect was arrested Thursday for unrelated charges and was questioned by detectives. They also said Thornton admitted to robbing the victim at the ATM last weekend.


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez