Suspect charged after assault at YMCA

Former U-M football player Braylon Edwards credited for rescuing victim

By: Mark Vest | Farmington Press | Published March 18, 2024

 Malik Ali Smith

Malik Ali Smith


FARMINGTON HILLS — A suspect has been charged following an assault that took place at a YMCA located at 28100 Farmington Road in Farmington Hills.

According to a press release from the city of Farmington Hills, at approximately 10:45 a.m. March 1, there were 911 calls reporting an assault in progress.

Officers from the Farmington Hills Police Department reportedly arrived on-scene to find an 80-year-old man, who is a resident of West Bloomfield Township, unconscious, with severe facial injuries, in the men’s locker room.

A second subject, former University of Michigan football player Braylon Edwards, who went on to play in the National Football League, reported to officers that he had entered the locker room and saw a man actively assaulting the victim, who was already unconscious and bleeding on the floor.

Edwards reportedly intervened and pulled the suspect off of the injured man and subsequently was attacked, himself.

Edwards was able to fight his attacker off, and the suspect proceeded to flee the scene on foot.

Officers were able to identify the suspect as Malik Ali Smith, 20, through membership records.

Uniformed officers, plain clothes detectives, surveillance teams and a drone were deployed in the search for Smith.

A Southfield Police Department K-9 unit also responded to assist with the ground search.

Along with an Everbridge message being sent to alert the public of the incident, local schools were contacted to request a lockdown, the release states.

A civilian called 911 to report that the suspect was on Parkhill Street, north of 12 Mile Road.

He was then taken into custody, according to the release.

Smith was arraigned March 2 in 47th District Court. He was charged with assault with intent to murder.

His bond was set at $250,000.

An in-person exam hearing was scheduled for March 22.

Smith’s attorney could not be reached for comment by press time.

The victim in the case was last reported to be in critical but stable condition at a hospital.

“As evidenced by the significant injuries inflicted on the victim, it is clear that Mr. Braylon Edwards’ intervention played a pivotal role in saving the victim’s life,” Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King stated in a March 4 press release. “This is a horrific incident, but the selfless efforts made by Mr. Edwards embody the best in our society.”

King also shared some thoughts in the previous release that was sent March 1.

“I’d like to thank the vigilant citizen for calling 911 when they observed the suspect attempting to conceal himself from police,” he stated. “These actions demonstrate the pride citizens have in the safety of our community and the strong relationship our department enjoys with our community members. Our officers and dispatchers acted swiftly and with outstanding professionalism to ensure appropriate aid to the victims and the eventual peaceful surrender of the suspect.”