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Shelby Township Police Officer Expresses Fear for His Life During Confrontation with Family

A Shelby Township police officer disputed a defense attorney’s claim that he had exacerbated a confrontation with Sam and Manal Kassab in their driveway, leading to criminal charges against the couple and their two teenage sons. Officer Robert Wathen testified at the preliminary examination for the Kassabs in 41A District Court in Shelby Township, stating that the couple’s behavior escalated when they found out the police were impounding their Cadillac Escalade, suspected to be involved in a shooting incident.

Sam Kassab faces charges of assaulting a police officer causing serious injury, assaulting a police officer causing injury, and resisting arrest, while Manal Kassab is charged with obstructing police. Wathen described how the situation intensified as Manal Kassab began yelling and gesturing animatedly, leading to a chain of events where Sam Kassab and their son, Anthony, allegedly turned aggressive.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Peter Torrice argued that Wathen’s actions, including restraining Sam Kassab, had escalated the situation further. Wathen defended his actions, stating that he was attempting to prevent further assault on another officer.

The testimony revealed that Sam Kassab’s behavior became increasingly confrontational as he demanded explanations from the officers regarding the impoundment of their vehicle. Wathen expressed concerns about the escalating tensions and the safety of the officers and the tow-truck driver present at the scene.

The altercation culminated in a physical struggle, with Wathen attempting to subdue Sam Kassab, leading to a chaotic situation where multiple individuals became involved. Wathen recounted being struck in the head during the scuffle, causing him to fear for his safety and that of his colleagues.

Despite the defense attorney’s assertions, Wathen maintained that his actions were aimed at de-escalating the situation and preventing further violence. The hearing is ongoing, with additional testimonies expected to shed light on the incident and the injuries sustained by the officers involved.

The legal proceedings stem from an incident where the Kassabs were linked to a shooting involving their Cadillac Escalade. The family members face various charges, with conflicting arguments regarding the police’s right to impound the vehicle without a warrant. The court will determine whether there is sufficient probable cause to proceed with the case to trial in Macomb County Circuit Court.

The defense attorneys for the Kassab family have raised objections regarding the impoundment of the vehicle without a warrant, emphasizing the property’s association with their home. The legal battle continues as both sides present their arguments regarding the legality of the police actions.

As the case unfolds, the complexities of the legal system intersect with the personal stakes of the individuals involved, highlighting the nuances of law enforcement procedures and individual rights in a charged legal environment.