FBI investigates report of possible hate crime against woman in Ann Arbor

http://www.annarbor.com/news/crime/fbi-investigates-report-of-hate-crime-in-ann-arbor/

Posted: Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:25 a.m

By Lee Higgins
Crime and courts reporter

The FBI is investigating a report of a possible hate crime Sunday in Ann Arbor, said FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold, a bureau spokeswoman in Detroit.

About 9:15 a.m. Sunday, a Muslim woman called 911, reporting she was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Eisenhower Parkway and South State Street when a man pulled next to her in a pickup truck, showed her a black-colored handgun and called her racial slurs, Ann Arbor police said.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said the police report did not detail what the man said to the 21-year-old Ann Arbor woman before he drove off. Detectives are investigating, she said.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter on the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the woman called him Sunday afternoon and told him that the man said to her, “You’re a terrorist. Your people should be killed.”

Walid believes the woman, who was born in the U.S. and whose father is Palestinian, was targeted because she was wearing a head scarf. Walid said the man did not make any direct reference the woman being a Muslim.

Walid called the FBI Sunday afternoon because he said he believes the incident was serious enough to be investigated as a possible hate crime.

“I hope the alleged perpetrator is caught, detained and charged appropriately,” he said.

“Ann Arbor is known to be a fairly diverse and tolerant area. It’s very abnormal to get a complaint like this in the Ann Arbor area.”

Ann Arbor police said the the man was driving a newer-model black pickup truck, possibly a Dodge Ram. He was white, 30 years of age, bald and had sunglasses on, Bush said.

Walid said the woman told him the truck had a U.S. Army sticker on it and she had never seen the man before. He said the woman wrote down a possible license plate number, but police ran it and didn’t get any results. It wasn’t a Michigan plate, Walid said, noting that the woman did not have further details.

The woman had no immediate comment when contacted by AnnArbor.com this morning.

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