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November 08, 2002 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Escaping Death

Stranger saves Jewish squash player knifed at Detroit's
Northwest Activity Center.

SHARON LUCKERMAN
StaffWriter

do appreciate the collaboration with the Jewish com-
munity and hope this incident doesn't disparage that
relationship in any way," she said.
ast July, when the racquet sports courts were
Leikin is the son of the Ezekiel Leikin, the former
closed at the Jewish Community Center in
Zionist Organization of America Metropolitan Detroit
West Bloomfield, about 35 doubles squash
Chapter executive director who recently died.
players scrambled to find a place to play.
He said after he was stabbed; a NWAC security
With alternative courts at the Franklin Fitness and
guard told him Duckett was a member who had
Racquet Club in Southfield not ready until early next
signed in.
year, and only two other private clubs having doubles
Leikin said the stabbing incident took place after he
squash courts, the only other nearby locale to play was
had finished a squash game on Nov. 2 when a stranger
the former Meyers-Curtis JCC in Detroit, now the
approached him. "The man congratulated me on my
Northwest Activity Center (NWAC).
squash game and as soon as he shook my hand --
Happy to have a place to play, the men contributed
without a word — he started driving a knife into me."
$50 each to refinish the floors and fix the walls and
Leikin said he used his racket to protect his vital
lighting, said squash player Jimmy Kollin, 35, of
organs and then tried to grab an aluminum ladder off
Farmington Hills.
the wall to use as a weapon. It fell, making a tremen-
"The people there have been great hosts," he said.
dous sound.
But on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 2, squash player
"The noise prompted Michael Reynolds to come out
George Leikin, 59, of Southfield was stabbed five times
of his court," Leiken said. "He unselfishly, without any
in the NWAC's health club and taken to the Sinai-
concern for his own safety, jumped into the situation,
Grace Hospital's emergency room in Detroit.
and he caused my attacker to run away." Leiken said of
Detroiter Michael Reynolds, a NWAC member who
Reynolds, an African American and a graduate of
came to his aid, also was stabbed and taken to the hos-
Syracuse University with a degree in automotive engi-
pital. Both Leikin and Reynolds were released the same neering, "without a dotibt, he saved my life."
day after their wounds were treated, said Kollin, who
Leikin said Reynolds chased after the attacker and
witnessed the incident and was at the hospital.
caught up with him outside on Meyers, then started
The wedding of Leikin's daughter Ilyssa, 27, is
hitting him across the head with his racket. The attack-
Saturday night, Nov. 9. "As of tomorrow," he said Nov.
er then wildly swung at Reynolds with his knife, catch-
6, "I don't want to discuss what happened to me
ing him and slicing his forearm. The attacker then fled
because this weekend is meant to be hers and her hus-
into the neighborhood.
band's celebration."
Inside the center, another squash player, Dr. Alan
The suspect, Arthur Leon Duckett Jr., 46, of
Bolton of Bloomfield Township, tended to Leikeh's
Detroit, also is suspected of stabbing and killing his
wounds until emergency medical personnel arrived and
landlord earlier that day.
took both injured men to
Two other people were
the hospital, said Kollin.
stabbed before he was
Squash player and for-
apprehended Sunday
mer JCC member George
evening, Nov 3, police
Perle of Bloomfield Hills,
— George Leikin ab out hero Michael Reynolds who was also at the
said.
`Arthur Duckett is in
NWAC at the time of the
police custody and under
incident and in the emer-
psychiatric care," said Sgt. Joyce Daniels of the Detroit
gency room, said he returned to the NWAC to play
Police Department on Nov. 5.
squash the next day. Several people, he said,
An arrest warrant was authorized by the Wayne
approached him to express their dismay and their
County Prosecutor's Office and the suspect is being
regret about what happened.
held in police custody pending arraignment. Detroit
Perle said that he views the attack an isolated inci-
Police Inspector Everett Barge said, "He was charged
dent and that "it was unfortunate that George became
this morning (Nov. 5) with one count of murder and
the victim.
three counts of assault with intent to murder."
"At the moment," he said, "a lot of people [former
The inspector said the NWAC hasn't had problems
JCC squash players] unfortunately have serious reserva-
like this before. "It's not unsafe up there. This is a guy
tions about using this facility"
who may have needed medical help," Barge said, in ref-
Leikin does not share Perle's enthusiasm.
erence to the suspect.
"I won't go there again, even if it's a random act,"
Though director Victor Marsh was not available for
he said.
comment, Raquel Robinson, director of community
On a more positive, note, Leikin said he would like
relations, said the NWAC does have security on staff
to find a way to publicly recognize Reynolds, the man
and "we do buzz people in and out of the health club."
who saved his life.
She would not confirm Duckett was a member. "We
"I owe my life to him." H

L

"I owe my life t o him."

Outrage
At Egypt

Jews protest government's
anti-Semitic propaganda.

JAMES D. BESSER
Washington Correspondent

gypt is supposed to be at peace with
Israel, but you'd never know it by the .
anti-Israel, anti-Semitic incitement tol-
erated of even encouraged by the gov-
ernment of President Hosni Mubarak.
In recent days, Jewish groups have been trying
to increase the pressure on Cairo, both through
private contacts with administration officials
and public demonstrations of outrage. And
some lawmakers say they'll hit Egypt where it
really hurts: in their foreign aid allotment.
On Monday, some 200 Washington activists
gathered in front of the Egyptian embassy to
protest the airing of a dramatic series based on
the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The
TV programs, titled Horse Without a Horseman,
were scheduled to air throughout the Islamic
month of Ramadan on a government-controlled
station.
The "stand against hate" protest was organized
by the American Jewish Committee and the
Jewish Community Council of Greater
Washington.
The TV program represents "egregious anti-
Semitism from Israel's most important peace
partner;" said Ron Halber, executive director of
the community group. "Twenty-five years after
Camp David, we're seeing the worst kind of
anti-Semitism, and our community decided to
act."
Last week, leaders of the Anti-Defamation
League met with top administration officials,
including Secretary of State Colin Powell and
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice; the
surge in Egyptian anti-Semitism was high on
their agenda.
The U.S. ambassador to Egypt, David Welch,
is actively raising the issue, officials of the group
said. Numerous lawmakers are also getting into
the act. At least 45 House members have signed
a letter to Mubarak stating that "the U.S.-Egypt
relationship is founded in our shared strategic
interest in the stability of the region and this
show is a serious threat to that important goal."
In a congressional "Dear Colleague" letter,
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., is promising an
amendment to "cut all military funding to
Egypt until such time that it can be authorized
that they have begun the road to peace with,
and understanding of, other nations, cultures
and religions." LI

E

11/8
2002

15

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