A man walking through a Brownstown Township subdivision at about 2:30 a.m. Monday as he passed out antisemitic literature sparked concern and was eventually arrested after police found a concealed weapon on him.
According to township police, the department received a call that appeared to describe a suspicious person in the area.
Detective Lt. Andrew Starzec said a couple of people were alerted by the motion detector from their home security devices.
The man, a 24-year-old Gibraltar resident, was arrested in the Whispering Woods subdivision.
“It was a suspicious situation,” Starzec said. “No one should be out at 2:30 a.m. handing out literature.”
Starzec said their intent was to investigate the suspicious behavior, not to get into the debate whether what he was distributing was representative of hate speech or freedom of speech.
While talking with the man, police discovered he was carrying a Ka-Bar Knife.
According to Starzec, the blade on those knives are often about 10 inches and are military-style knives. They also considered combat knives.
Police said the man was arrested for carrying the military knife without a permit, a misdemeanor.
The man was arrested without incident. He gave police no explanation for what he was doing or what he was trying to accomplish.
One resident said she, like other residents, found a packet on her porch; she said she didn’t want to open it up all the way. Her husband sealed it in a plastic baggie.
“I didn’t even want to touch it,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified out of fear. “I’ve lived here for 22 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before. We have a very diverse community and everyone gets along. We look out for one another. There is a guy on video giving a Nazi salute before leaving the yard. What an idiot.”
She said the incident was particularly disturbing for those who have children in the subdivision.