North Olmsted man, Hesham A. Ayyad, found himself in legal trouble after authorities arrested him on Tuesday, accusing him of fabricating a hate crime involving anti-Palestinian slurs. The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations had initially called for an investigation into Ayyad’s claims, which he stated involved being attacked by an individual hurling anti-Palestinian statements.
According to Ayyad, he was walking on Cook Road around 4:10 p.m. on October 22 when a person driving a dark SUV approached him, shouting anti-Palestinian remarks like ‘Kill all Palestinians’ and ‘Long live Israel.’ Ayyad alleged that the driver intentionally swerved the car to intimidate him, eventually striking him while shouting ‘DIE!’ The Islamic council circulated a press release with a photo of Ayyad in the hospital wearing a neck brace.
However, the subsequent police investigation revealed a different narrative. Authorities, after examining multiple video sources and correlating them with the times of the call for service, concluded that Ayyad had lied about being struck by a vehicle and about the racial slurs uttered during the incident.
Further investigation uncovered that the injuries Ayyad sustained were the result of a violent altercation with his brother, confirmed by surveillance footage from the area. In light of these findings, Hesham A. Ayyad was arrested and charged with making false alarms, falsification, obstructing official business, domestic violence, and assault. His brother, Khalil A. Ayyad, aged 19 and also from North Olmsted, was arrested and charged with domestic violence and assault.
Both individuals are currently held at the Lorain County Jail awaiting a hearing in Elyria Municipal Court. The Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement expressing their intent to gather more information about the arrests, indicating that the brothers have obtained their legal counsel, and the nature of the charges remains unclear to them at this point.