6 Arrested as Mob Rushes Terry Jones on Way to Arab Festival in Dearborn
Pastor Jones' march through Dearborn on his way to rally at the Arab International Festival was cut short when counter-protesters confronted him in the street.
Florida Pastor Terry Jones' day of demonstration in Dearborn was cut short after a mob rushed him on his way to the Arab International Festival Friday afternoon.
Jones' original plan was to march down Schaefer Road to speak at the Arab International Festival after he and several of his supporters spoke at Dearborn City Hall. However, that plan ended abruptly when Jones' march was met in the street with dozens of hostile protesters led by activist group BAMN–By Any Means Necessary.
Jones and a handful of supporters walked north down Schaefer from City Hall just after 3 p.m., but were quickly cut off by the counter-protesters, several of whom yelled in Jones' face and blocked his way down the road, forcing people into the street.
Dearborn police worked to quell the unrest, making six arrests and eventually pushing Jones and several of his supporters into a black, unmarked police SUV.
Remaining protesters quickly dispersed.
Wayne County police patrolling the Arab International Festival said just after 4 p.m. that Jones' protest at that location had been canceled at the urging of Dearborn police.
Stephanie Sapp, who is the wife of Jones' cohort Wayne Sapp and works for Jones' group Stand Up America Now, confirmed that news via Twitter.
"Dr Terry Jones and supporters attacked by angry protesters after Rally with signs and punches," she tweeted. "No one was hurt."
Before Jones and his opponents clashed on Schaefer Road, the scene was relatively peaceful at City Hall. Counter-protesters were outnumbered by Dearborn police officers and members of the media.
Dearborn Chief of Police Ronald Haddad said that the ultimate decision to cancel the protest was made by Jones, at the advice of police.
"We quelled it as quickly as possible," Haddad said. "We did advise Pastor Jones it was probably ill advised to walk with that kind of attention-grabbing formation. He elected to call it off."
Haddad said that five of the six arrests made were non-Dearborn residents.
"It's just another day in the big city," Haddad added.
According to an official release from the city, Jones and his supporters refused to press charges. The individuals arrested were charged with the misdemeanor of breach of the peace.
Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly, who was reportedly out of town during the events, responded to the day's outcome in a statement, saying that he was pleased with Dearborn residents' response to Jones.
“I am proud of our Dearborn residents and thank the religious and community leaders for carrying the message of peace and tolerance,” said O’Reilly, who urged residents to ignore Jones in a letter sent to media earlier this week.
Terry Jones, famous for burning a Quran, was arrested in Dearborn in April. He had wanted to protest at the Islamic Center of America, but was refused by the city and a court. His arrest came after a judge imposed a $1 peace bond on him and he declined to pay. Jones and his supporters are protesting what they say is the threat of Islamic law taking over Dearborn.