Three teenagers accused of attacking an Arab-American merchant in this Macomb County community were charged with ethnic intimidation and assault.

Rodney Hayes, 17, was charged as an adult with assault and battery and ethnic intimidation. Dyeida Wilson, 18, and Antoneo Hardy, 19, were charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and ethnic intimidation. All are from Detroit.

The melee began Monday when the students, who were standing at a bus stop, knocked down a nearby sign advertising a 10 Minute Express Lube owned by Joe Khalil, police said.

“Usually, I just ignore them,” Khalil told The Detroit News for a Wednesday story. “But (Monday) I went outside and told them to stop knocking down my sign.”

The suspects called him an ethnically derogative name “and told me to go back to where I came from,” said Khalil, who is half-Lebanese and half-German and was born in the United States.

One of the students struck Khalil in the face. They also began fighting with employees of a neighboring Marathon gas station owned by another Arab-American and threatened a worker with knives, said Lt. Mark Rybinski of the Clinton Township Police Department.

“Then they took an American flag from the gas station and cut one of the employees in the face with the sharp end of the flagpole,” Rybinski said.

The suspects attend the Clintondale Continuing Education Center, which offers alternative high school education and job training courses. All were indefinitely suspended after Monday’s altercation.

Hassan Abboud, who owns the Marathon station, said he wants the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation to remove the bus stop from in front of his business because of past problems with students from the Clintondale center.


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