FBI investigates report of possible hate crime against woman in Ann Arbor
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.
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.