Two men charged in attack on councilman

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — A settlement conference is scheduled for the two men charged with verbally harassing and physically attacking Dearborn City Councilman Michael Sareini and his mother at a funeral.

Brothers Hasan and Albert Abbas will be in front of 19th District Court Judge Mark Somers at 9 a.m. Aug. 4 for a settlement conference.

They both have been charged with assault and battery for the incident that allegedly took place March 13 at the Islamic Institute of Knowledge, 6345 Schaefer Road.

Sareini posted about the incident on his Facebook page shortly after it took place, saying his mother, former City Councilwoman Suzanne Sareini, was hit by a water bottle thrown at the vehicle’s passenger side window and that he was punched in the face.

“I will not be pushed around or bullied in attempts to bend the law for anyone or anything,” he said in his post. “Personal favors are not the way I do city business. I respect and cherish the responsibility of the office that I serve and will continue to uphold the policies and procedures that are in place to protect our city.”

About 7:15 p.m, Sareini, his wife and mother were leaving the funeral of Fordson High School Principal Imad Fadlallah when the Abbas brothers approached the vehicle.

According to the police report Albert Abbas threw the water bottle and leaned into the passenger side and pressed his left arm on Suzanne Sareini’s ribs.

Once Sareini exited the vehicle Hasan Abbas walked toward him and struck his left cheek causing his glasses to fall off his face, police said.

The brothers told police that Sareini was carrying a weapon at the funeral, but officers did not find one while searching the vehicle.

Dearborn police returned to the Islamic Institute of Knowledge to review security footage and completed an investigation.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)