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Court docs say group involved in Maryland grocery store assault of Jewish man shouted 'do it for Kanye'

"This event includes a Hate Crime," a probable cause statement says.
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File image of handcuffs.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Court documents in a Gaithersburg grocery store assault show that while the suspect attacked the victim, who is Jewish, a group of people who were with the suspect yelled "do it for Kanye."

The Montgomery County Police Department said the assault happened on Wednesday just before 4 p.m. at the Giant grocery store located in the 18200 block of Flower Hill Way.

A probable cause statement on the assault begins with "This event includes a Hate Crime."

A store employee flagged officers down and took them to the victim inside. The victim had visible injuries to his head and face, according to the probable cause statement.

The victim told officers that he was shopping in the store when he noticed multiple juveniles throwing fruit and other items at customers and stealing doughnuts from a display case.

The victim then approached the group and asked them to stop, according to court documents.

An argument ensued, and the victim told police the group surrounded him and began taunting him. The victim said someone in the group threw a lime at his head.

At some point, the victim unzipped his sweatshirt, which revealed his necklace, which was a Star of David. He also pulled out a pen as a deterrent to being attacked. 

According to court documents, one of the young people noticed the necklace and got into a fighting stance. The victim said the suspect said something like, "Let's go, f------ Jew."

After that, the victim said he tried to talk the group down, but the suspect began punching him. 

While being punched, the court document says the others in the group shouted, "Yeah, do it for Kanye."

Kanye West, who has changed his name to Ye, has been in the news for making antisemitic statements and praising Nazis and Adolf Hitler.

After that, the victim was taken to the ground by the suspect, who began smashing the victims head into the ground, according to court documents.

The victim lost consciousness. Later he advised officers that he'd been previously diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and had other neurological issues.

Police said the victim's keys were taken after the assault ended.

At a nearby McDonald's, a group young people who matched the description of those involved in the incident were detained by other officers. The victim was unable go to the McDonald's because he was too dizzy, according to court documents, but a store employee said he could identify the suspect in the assault. He went with officers to the McDonald's and pointed out the suspect.

He was placed under arrest.

The suspect has been identified as Michael Stewart, 19. Police say that Stewart initially provided a fake name to officers. The probable cause statement said that in addition to the main charges, he will also be charged with misidentifying himself to officers.

He's being charged with assault in the first degree and robbery.

Police have not said that anyone else is being charged or being sought in this case.

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