DETROIT, MI -- Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper didn't charge a Detroit man with a hate crime after it's suspected he stabbed two people at a Southfield bus stop, possibly motivated by religious hate.
Nick Loussia, Deputy Chief of Police for the Southfield Police Department, said the suspect, 39-year-old Terrence Lavaron Thomas, "is Muslim, and asked the victims what religion they were" before allegedly attacking them.
He's charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent and possession of marijuana.
Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton said the evidence doesn't support a 2-year felony charge of ethnic intimidation, although investigators are still interviewing witnesses.
Walton said an argument started over "bad breath and bad teeth" before it "deescalated to a physical altercation."
"At this point ... I'm not hearing anything that is going to monumentally change any of the charges," Walton said.
The FBI is looking at the case also to see if any federal hate crimes were committed.
"We're taking all of the logical investigative steps with regards to the sorts of violations we investigate," David Porter, spokesman for the Detroit FBI field office, said Thursday. "There is no update to provide
"I'm not saying anything beyond we are investigating the matter."
Thomas's bail was set at $1 million cash or surety bond.
According to police, Thomas attacked the victims, a 52-year-old man and 51-year-old man from Detroit, after he "made several comments about his religion and asked the victims about their religious beliefs just before the assault occurred."
When police arrived to the scene Saturday night, they found that the 52-year-old victim had been stabbed in the head, neck and back. The 51-year-old victim had been stabbed in the hand.
Both men were taken to Providence Hospital by paramedics, and have since been released with non-life-threatening injuries.
Southfield police located Thomas "a short time after (the) incident" walking near Greenfield Road and Seven Mile Road Saturday night. According to police, he was taken into custody "without incident."
Thomas had two knives on him when police took him into custody, according to police.
Police said the victims and the suspect did not know each other prior to the alleged stabbing and Thomas is believed to have acted alone.
Thomas's pre-trial exam is scheduled for March 4 at 8:30 a.m. in the 46th District Court.