DeKalb man charged with hate crime

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SYCAMORE – A 69-year-old DeKalb man has been charged with a hate crime after police said he yelled at a Muslim woman and tried to pull off her head scarf Monday at Walmart.

Michael E. Dickey, of the 200 block of Augusta Avenue, has been charged with two counts of hate crime, as well as battery and disorderly conduct. He’ll have a bond hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Dickey was arrested Wednesday after police said he yelled at a woman about 12:30 p.m. Monday at Walmart, 2300 DeKalb Ave., telling her Americans don’t want her here. A news release from the DeKalb Police Department said that as she tried to use her phone to record the man, he walked toward her and pulled her niqab hard enough that it hurt her neck and back.

The release said Dickey continued making anti-Muslim statements as he walked away.

“Our community is strengthened by its diversity, which is a characteristic we must embrace for the greater good of all people,” DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery said.

Mohammed Labadi, president of the Islamic Center of DeKalb, said he has faith in local law enforcement and the community.

“We hope that this is an isolated incident and remain grateful for our wonderfully diverse community,” Labadi said.

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