|A surveillance image of the Hamido restuarant, where a brawl erupted on March 21.|
A horrified woman dining at the Hamido restaurant in Dearborn shielded her young daughter as a brawl erupted on the evening of March 21.
And yet, when The Arab American News posted the surveillance footage on its Facebook page earlier this week, many commentators were focused on why we posted the violent altercation instead.
Those people do make a point. Violence is becoming the norm at Dearborn’s businesses.
In recent months, patrons at hookah bars and restaurants have taken part in a series of violent encounters.
Heck, a gun was discharged at a hookah bar the other day and no one even batted an eye.
So what’s so special about the fighting at Hamido that warranted us revealing the footage to the community?
If you review the details of the Hamido incident, it’s actually quite a disturbing affair.
This wasn’t a scuffle between a few young men fighting over a woman; it involved an entire family facing the fury of reckless young adults.
What appears to be an exchange of words between the family and a group of young men sitting at a booth near them erupts into chaos. Within seconds, fists start flying between men of both parties.
The middle-aged father jumps into the madness to back up his sons, while his female family members sit back and watch in dismay.
Other patrons at Hamido attempt to take cover, in hopes that the stampede of violence doesn't end up at their corner.
Management at Hamido was uncooperative with the release of the footage, which was submitted to The Arab American News by an anonymous source. The owners firmly believed that the incident would result in bad publicity for the restaurant.
But they can rest assured that no one is blaming them for the mess that ensued.
The manager at Hamido was able to gain control of the confrontation in a timely manner, diffusing the brawl within just a couple of minutes, and asking the parties to leave separately.
The truth is, this encounter could have occurred at any family restaurant in the community. Hamido just happened to be the unlucky business to host the barbaric episode.
We understand Hamido’s attempt to conceal the encounter from the public, but the very danger presented to the families inside of the restaurant is not something that should be swept under the rug.
The Arab American News was unable to obtain further details about the incident as Hamido management was being uncooperative. According to Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad, no police report was filed following the brawl.
We also dismiss criticism that The Arab American News painted the community in a negative light by releasing the footage.
Regardless of how the fight started and what words were exchanged, the truth is those patrons in the video should be held accountable for their behavior. It is they who tarnish the image of this community.