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Robert Stanzler, the owner of Detroit Mercantile Co. and co-creator of the iconic Made In Detroit logo and products, was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he spit in the face of a security guard.

Stanzler, 50, was charged Saturday with assault and battery. He has been suspended from selling merchandise at Eastern Market.

He appeared Tuesday before Magistrate Millicent Sherman of 36th District Court via video from the Detroit Detention Center.

Bond was set at $5,000, over the objections of his defense attorney, Dean Elliott. Sherman also ordered a "no contact" order for Stanzler involving the security guard, 29-year-old Ibrahim Faison. The two men work in the same area of Eastern Market.

Elliott entered a not-guilty plea on his client's behalf. He had asked for a personal bond, saying his client is not a flight risk. Sherman noted the nature of the crime and ordered the bond.

"There'll be no contact," Elliott told the magistrate.

A pretrial hearing was set for Stanzler at 9 a.m. Aug. 2.

Stanzler allegedly was angered that people arriving at another event were parking on his property and was filmed spitting in Faison's face July 17 around 9:30 a.m. in the 3400 block of Russell.

Faison, who recorded Stanzler spitting, turned over video of the incident to police, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said.

Police arrested Stanzler that day, but released him the next day. He was charged three days later. Stanzler apologized but still was suspended from selling his wares at Eastern Market.

The Detroit branch of the NAACP issued a statement Tuesday condemning  Stanzler's actions saying "The Detroit Branch NAACP condemns this act of degradation, humiliation, and possible even racial discrimination. Ibrahim (Faison)  is a responsible young man, doing a significant job in the area of security for many community organizations. Regardless of the event, spitting in one’s face is unacceptable for any occasion. " 

The statement added that the incident "demonstrates clearly the need for diversity training, racial sensitivity, and appreciation for different cultural values. Coming up as a child, spitting on any person was one of the worst offenses one could be engaged in, according to my grandmother."

"It is good to have an apology. However, an apology without a plan of correction is inadequate," the statement continued. "Diversity training should occur, and justice should be served. A zero-tolerance policy for such activity should be made mandatory for business owners and their employees. As a co-founder of the clothing brand ‘Made In Detroit’, Robert Stanzler must know that spitting on another individual is certainly NOT MADE IN DETROIT. Quite the contrary, it must be ended in Detroit." 

Carhartt, a clothing company for which he was a distributor, has told other media outlets that the clothing no longer will be sold at Detroit Mercantile.

James Dickson contributed to this report.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

 

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