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'Maybe I lost my anger a little bit' | Main Street store owner pleads not guilty in pistol-whipping case
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ONE STOP FOODS

'Maybe I lost my anger a little bit' | Main Street store owner pleads not guilty in pistol-whipping case

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Iyad Alabed

Iyad Alabed, right, was in court on Thursday with his attorney, Patrick Cafferty. Alabed pleaded not guilty to the charges relating to an altercation in his store.

RACINE — A store owner who allegedly pistol-whipped a person in his store was on Thursday in court, where he pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the altercation.

Iyad Alabed, 36, was charged with four felonies: aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon and three counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

The defendant was additionally charged with two misdemeanor counts: endangering safety with use of a dangerous weapon and intentionally pointing a firearm at a person.

According to the criminal complaint, Alabed told investigators, “Maybe I lost my anger a little bit,” although details about what led to the altercation remain mostly unknown to the public.

The defendant waived his right to a preliminary hearing and the matter was transferred to Judge Wynne Laufenberg’s court for trial. A status conference is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on June 10.

Allegations

According to the criminal complaint:

The Racine Police Department responded to One Stop Foods, 1711 N. Main St., on the report of a man down in the parking lot and a second man with a firearm. On arrival, officers observed a man whose head was covered in blood and a blood trail leading from inside the store to the victim.

The victim was transported to the hospital with a skull fracture to his forehead and a ruptured eardrum. The injuries to his head required 10 stitches.

During the course of the investigation, Alabed told investigators he and the victim got into a dispute inside the store; the report does not indicate the nature of the dispute.

Two witnesses told investigators the victim was using “bad words” toward Alabed.

The defendant claimed the victim threatened to kill him and made gestures to indicate he was armed.

The surveillance video showed Alabed pushed the “hold up” alarm, retrieved a 9mm Taurus, and hit the victim across the forehead with it.

At that point, the gun discharged — with two witnesses within a foot of the physical altercation. However, no one was injured. Then, the complaint continued, the victim can be seen on the surveillance video putting his hands in the air, signaling surrender, while Alabed is yelling.

The video allegedly shows the defendant striking the victim across the face with the firearm, after which the victim stumbled backwards. He tries to leave but Alabed puts him in a headlock, according to the complaint.

Eventually, the victim makes it out the door, but Alabed follows him.

The victim fell to the ground, Alabed stood with his gun pointed at the man on the ground, and then began kicking him — at least 13 times in a minute, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the victim lay on the ground “holding his hands up while Alabed stomps on him.”

In addition to the surveillance video, a witness also videotaped the altercation, which allegedly showed Alabed repeatedly kicking the man on the ground.

Following the investigation, Alabed was arrested. He was later released on $2,500 bail.

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Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson explained in an email that the reason the suspect isn't facing hate crime charges is because "There are enough facts, outside of those in the complaint, to indicate that the defendant did not intentionally select the victim because he was gay (and that) the two were fighting over household duties as they were roommates. Once the fight began, he defendant began using homophobic slurs."

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