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Muslim Teen Who Was Attacked By Stranger in Detroit ER Sues Hospital

Although McKinsey’s research shows that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their peers, that doesn’t mean everyone is accepting of those from differing racial and religious backgrounds. That’s unfortunately backed up by research released last year, which revealed that the number of assaults on Muslims in the U.S. spiked between 2015 and 2016, surpassing the previous peak reached in 2011 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now, a 19-year-old Muslim woman has become the victim of an unprovoked attack in a Detroit area hospital and is suing both the attacker and the hospital.

On February 10, the female college student wearing a hijab (whose name has not been released to protect her identity) was checking in to the emergency department of Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn after a fall that had possibly broken her jaw. While up to 65% of all ER episodes can be treated at urgent care locations, this is one injury that may have required ED attention. And unfortunately, the woman in question was going to need immediate medical attention for injuries sustained in the waiting room itself. Within five seconds of walking up to the front desk, the woman was attacked from behind. Surveillance video showed the assailant, identified as 51-year-old John Deliz, struck her in the head with his fists several times and knocked her to the ground. A paramedic and a security officer pulled Deliz off of the teen until police arrived.

But police were already on their way to the hospital before the attack even occurred. They had received a report that a disorderly subject, later identified as Deliz, was roaming the halls of the hospital and causing problems. It was later revealed that Deliz had escaped from a group home and had been showing signs of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He was admitted to the hospital for not taking his medication. He was then discharged from the hospital (in a move that the woman’s lawyer, Majed Moughni, says was premature) but remained on hospital grounds, allegedly bothering other patients before attacking the woman in question.

Moughni told reporters, “The hospital was aware of his condition as he was brought because he needed mental treatment. Instead of treating him, they discharged him into the ER waiting room. Instead of giving him mental treatment, they put him back in the patient pool, thereby giving way to his attack.” He went on to say, “[Beaumont] took a gamble by not holding him and lost. You don’t release a dangerous man into a population of people who are sick and weak. This incident could have been prevented.”

According to Moughni, his client has suffered bruises to the face and is experiencing symptoms of anxiety and PTSD. He stated she is terrified to leave her home and is mentally and emotionally distressed. As a result, she’s filed an ethnic intimidation suit against Deliz and is seeking $25,000 in damages from the hospital, citing negligence.

Moughni told the Detroit News, “We want to hold them accountable for not looking out for the safety of other patients. Our number one goal is to make sure no human being is attacked the way my client was.”

Deliz remains in custody. His next court appearance will take place later this month.

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