Sterling Heights man charged with striking pedestrians in Royal Oak

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published March 4, 2019

 Manhal Najib

Manhal Najib

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ROYAL OAK — On Feb. 25, a 44th District Court magistrate charged a 28-year-old Sterling Heights man with multiple felonies and misdemeanors after he allegedly hit a man and a woman with his vehicle following a dispute at a Royal Oak nightclub.

Just before 2 a.m. Feb. 23, security removed two groups of people from the basement of Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Taphouse, 419 S. Main St., south of 11 Mile Road.

“It’s our understanding that this guy, the driver of the vehicle, was going up to women in the group and was described as harassing them, which may have been a catalyst for the whole conflict,” said Lt. Keith Spencer, of the Royal Oak Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Unit.

Witnesses told police that the skirmish continued outside the establishment, and a man from one of the groups reportedly got into a Buick Rendezvous, intentionally struck a woman, turned and intentionally struck a man, struck two signs and a parked vehicle, backed over the man again, and fled the area.

“It’s our understanding that the woman was (involved in the conflict). The man may not have been involved in either of the groups,” Spencer said. “He may not have been involved in either of the original groups, but could be involved in the altercation (outside).”

Spencer said members of the group flagged down a Royal Oak police officer, and the officer observed a man and a woman lying in the street.

Both were transported to Beaumont Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and were released.

Less than 24 hours after the incident, Royal Oak police officers on patrol observed a silver Buick Rendezvous at Main Street and University Avenue at approximately 11:30 p.m. Feb. 23.

Police said they enacted a traffic stop and saw that the vehicle had damage consistent with what witnesses had reported and that the driver of the vehicle matched a description given by witnesses at the scene.

Police arrested the driver and a passenger — the passenger for an unrelated felony bench warrant.

Magistrate Donald Chisholm, of the 44th District Court, charged Manhal Najib, 28, of Sterling Heights, with two counts of felonious assault with a motor vehicle, two counts of failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident, one count of failure to stop after a collision and one count of failure to report an accident.

Felonious assault with a motor vehicle carries a penalty of up to four years in prison, failure to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a year in jail, failure to stop after a collision is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail, and failure to report an accident is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail.

Chisholm set Najib’s bond at $250,000 cash or surety, no 10 percent.

According to police, Najib has a criminal history that includes convictions for aggravated assault, domestic assault, felony possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, attempted maintaining of a drug house, failure to obey a traffic order, and misdemeanor attempted larceny in a building.

Spencer said that Najib’s criminal history does not include incidents in Royal Oak.

A court clerk said Najib had requested a court-appointed attorney, but one had not yet been appointed to the case as of press time.

His next court appearance was scheduled for 9 a.m. March 5, after press time, before Judge Jamie Wittenberg at the 44th District Court, 400 E. 11 Mile Road, east of South Troy Street, in Royal Oak.

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