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Store Owners Faced Civil Lawsuit After Beating Store Robber
By Paul Gori :: Friday, December 11, 2009 :: 110953 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Michigan, USA – “It is hard enough to make a living in Michigan. Now have to give up the right to protect ourselves when our lives are being threatened.  This state is getting way out of control,” says Andrew Gabara, of Clinton Township. 

Gabara’s comments are in light of the ongoing frustration Chaldeans in Clinton Township are feeling regarding the Nick’s Party Stop robbery.  “This state is backward.  They were protecting themselves form being robbed and now they are being sued.  Where is the justice?”

Scott Zielinski, who was found guilty and sentenced to prison for the November 2007 robbing Nick’s Party Stop in Clinton Township sued the store owner and employees from prison for beating him up during the robbery.  John Acho, and three employees including Acho's nephew Justin Kallo, who shot Zielinski twice were named in the suit. 

Zielinski, 23, filed the lawsuit in April after he was shot while robbing the store on Cass Avenue, south of 19 Mile Road, near Chippewa Valley High School. Zielinski, wielding a knife and wearing a mask, entered the store about 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, 2007, and demanded cash and cigarettes. As he fled out the front door carrying a bag of money and cigarettes, he was shot in the arm.

Originally charged with armed robbery, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of unarmed robbery and was sentencing in May 2008 to eight to 22 years in prison, in a plea deal with Macomb prosecutors.  Zielinski had a prior armed robbery conviction for robbing a Charter One Bank branch in Warren, for which he was sentenced to one year and seven months in prison.

“Even though this man is a proven bank robber, armed robber, and threat to society he now is able to intimidate his victims by suing them for beating him up.  What is wrong with this picture?” added Gabara. 

The lawsuit claimed the store employee shot him and the owner and other employees excessively beat the robber outside the store following the robbery.  One witness, Andrew Thomas, indicated some of the defendants continued to beat Zielinski even though he had stopped fighting. 

Tom Peters — the attorney representing Acho and Kallo, asked Judge David Viviano of Macomb County Circuit Court to approve a $10,000 bond to defend the case. In many civil cases, the losing party is responsible to pay the winning party's legal costs.    Peters request that the plaintiff post the $10,000 bond should he lose proved to be a wise strategy. 

Countering the claim, Attorney Peters told the judge that this was one version and that as many witnesses are prepared to show Zielinski was "struggling" and "swinging at" the defendants.

Judge Viviano said the amount sounded more than fair and approved the bond proposal.

"There are some disputes of facts," Peters said afterward outside the courtroom.  He added that many others will offer statements showing that "(The defendants) didn't continue to beat him.

Acho reported that the defendants attacked Zielinski because he held two of the employees at knifepoint and threatened to kill them.

Judge Viviano eventually dismissed Zielinski’s lawsuit when he failed to post the $10,000 bond.  “They called his bluff and proved this chronic criminal is a menace to society,” says Gabara. 

Circuit Judge David Viviano had ordered Zielinski to post the bond in case he lost his lawsuit and must pay the victors' attorney fees. Zielinski didn't post bond, so Viviano dismissed the lawsuit.
 

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.