Man charged in stabbing; possible hate crime probed

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Southfield — A 39-year-old Detroit man was charged Tuesday in a Valentine’s night stabbing and possible hate crime at the Northland Mall bus stop in which two people were injured.

Terrence Lavaron Thomas, 39, of Detroit was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, carrying a concealed weapon with intent and possession of marijuana in the incident Saturday.

Thomas was ordered held in the Oakland County Jail in lieu of $1 million cash surety bond by 46th District Court Magistrate Jajonie-Daman.

Southfield police said that at about 10:30 p.m. last Saturday they responded to the mall at 21500 Northwestern Highway on a report of an assault. A 52-year-old Detroit man was found to have stab wounds to the head, neck and back and a 51-year-old Detroit man was stabbed in the hand.

Both victims were treated at Providence Hospital for non-life threatening wounds and released, according to Deputy Chief Nick Loussia.

Police said that shortly after the incident the suspect was found walking in the Greenfield-Seven Mile area. He was arrested without incident and found carrying two knives, according to a press release Tuesday.

Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins tells The Associated Press the man asked the two other men whether they were Muslim. Hawkins says the men replied they weren’t and the man attacked them.

Hawkins says police don’t know the suspect’s religion or the religion of the men who were stabbed.

The man is in custody and the case will be reviewed by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for possible charges. It is not believed the man knew either of the victims and reportedly made several comments about his religion and asked the victims about their religious beliefs just before the assault occurred.

Police contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is also investigating the incident to determine if any federal laws, including hate crime laws, were violated.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or may have any information, is asked to call the Southfield Police Department at (248) 796-5500.

(313) 222-2023

Detroit News Staff Wrtier Tom Greenwood contributed.