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Stabbing suspect arraigned in Flint

Booking photo of stabbing suspect Elias Abuelazam
Arlington, Virginia Police Department
Mug shot of Elias Abuelazam

(by Steve Carmody, Michigan Radio)

A judge has ordered the man suspected in a series of stabbings in the Flint area to be held without bond.  

Elias Abuelazam, an Israeli citizen, was arraigned today and spoke briefly during the court hearing.

Abuelazam is suspected in at least 18 attacks in three states in Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. Five victims died in Flint.

Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton says he will seek the harshest penalty possible against Abuelazam.

"Today, I can announce to you that we've got the guy responsible for these crimes. He tried to run away to the middle east, but strong police work caught him at the airport in Atlanta.  He is now where he belongs.  In jail awaiting trial on these charges."

Leyton said they don't have a motive for the crimes yet. He says it appears to be a "random opportunistic issue of attacking African-American men walking the streets of Flint, Burton and Flint Township, and Genesee Township."

Abuelazam is currently only charged in one assault, but additional charges are expected soon. Abuelazam told reporters outside the Genesee County jail that he didn't do anything.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.