A Southfield, Michigan man walked up to two people at a bus stop and stabbed them after he asked them if they were Muslim – and discovering they were not, police claim.
Terrence Lavaron Thomas, 39, allegedly stabbed a 52-year-old Detroit man five times after he reportedly said that he was not a Muslim. The victim was stabbed once in the neck and face, and three times in the back, according to Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins. A 51-year-old Detroit man attempted to intervene and stop the knife attack and was reportedly stabbed in the hand. The attack occurred around 10:30 p.m. at a Southfield bus stop near the Northland Mall at 21500 Northwestern Highway.
Terrence Lavaron Thomas was allegedly carrying two knives and some marijuana when he was arrested. Southfield police arrested Thomas just a few minutes after the stabbing while he was walking in the Greenfield Road and Seven Mile area. The suspect reportedly had two folding knives, each with blades about three inches long. One of the knives reportedly appeared to have been used in the bus stop stabbing.
The Detroit man reportedly told Southfield Police Department that he was a Muslim. “We are getting indications through my officers that the suspect was somewhat incoherent afterward, and so there’s a question about his stability,” Chief Hawkins added. Then, the man started stabbing one of them, he said. Police say they don’t believe the men knew their attacker, whom appears to have acted alone. Both men have been released from Providence Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The Southfield Police Department has contacted the FBI to investigate the possibility of the bus stop stabbing being a violation of hate crime laws. If it is proven that Thomas violated hate crime statutes, the FBI investigation could levy federal charges relating to ethnic intimidation. “The victims in this case said that the suspect asked them if they were Muslim. They responded that they were not, and then there was some back-and-forth between the victims and the suspect,” Chief Hawkins said.
Thomas was arraigned in 46th District Court earlier this week on one count of carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent, possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of assault with intent to murder. Magistrate Jajonie-Daman set bond at $1 million cash/surety. A preliminary examination of Terrence Lavaron Thomas is reportedly scheduled for March 4.
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