'He's Bleeding All Over,' Witness Says in 911 Call Played in Assault, Ethnic Intimidation Hearing
Court hears testimony Thursday in a preliminary exam for three men charged in the April assault.
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — A West Bloomfield woman called 911 in the early morning hours of April 11, telling police "they basically jumped him" about the beaten African-American man outside her home.
Farrah Isso made two calls to West Bloomfield Police that night about the man who was allegedly beaten in a three-on-one attack and those 911 recordings were played by prosecutors in 48th District Court on Thursday.
Fariss Shayota, 21, Naseem Shayota, 29, and Savio Yaldo, 21, are charged with misdemeanor assault and felony ethnic intimidation against Steve Harris, 25, of Farmington Hills. Judge Marc Barron is hearing testimony to determine whether there is enough evidence to send the three men to trial. If convicted, they face up to two years in prison.
"They basically jumped him," Isso said on the tape, amid screaming and yelling in the background on the phone call to West Bloomfield Police. "He's bleeding all over."
Harris is expected to take the stand when the preliminary exam resumes April 10. He was not in court Thursday, although the Shayotas, who are brothers, and Yaldo were sitting side-by-side in the front row of the audience.
Witness Steve Boudreau, self-described as a friend of Isso's brother Paul and an acquaintance of Harris, testified the fight began as the three men and a female friend were talking in the Issos' driveway on the 6900 block of Carrington Circle West in the early morning hours of April 11.
Boudreau said that he wasn't entirely sure, but believed Yaldo and Fariss Shayota could have been the ones to instigate the altercation. "It was a long time ago," he testified Thursday.
The case became more controversial after an interview Harris gave to the Detroit Free Press alleging West Bloomfield Police neglected to press charges until Dec. 27. Police eventually sought misdemeanor warrants until Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper added charges of ethnic intimidation in February.
Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Hall said the prosecution would consider adding a felonious assault charge against Naseem Shayota, pending the outcome of testimony in the preliminary exam.
Three defense attorneys argued that Harris instigated the altercation as Fariss Shayota, who lives near the Issos, walked his dog with Yaldo, a friend. Harris told police that Naseem Shayota came from his home as the fight was under way to hit Harris in the head with a brick; that claim was not corroborated by Isso nor Boudreau.
"I couldn't see anything in (Naseem Shayota's) hands, but it was dark," said Isso, who came from her bedroom to the driveway when she heard sounds of an altercation taking place.
Both witnesses also testified they could not corroborate claims that the co-defendants used racial slurs while beating up Harris.
A witness from the West Bloomfield Fire Department testified that Harris refused medical attention for a bloody nose. A friend later took him to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, where he received three stitches for a cut above his eye.