Troubled Past Follows Darien Man Charged with Hate Crime
Ali Akel returns to court July 25 in connection to gas station incident.
A Darien man charged with spitting on and hitting a man during a gas station incident that prosecutors deemed a hate crime brings with him a history of domestic and legal trouble.
Ali Akel, 32, was charged June 20 with aggravated battery, marijuana possession and a hate crime after an altercation at a Woodridge gas station involving two black men.
Prosecutors allege Akel used a racial slur and then attacked one of them as they waited in line. Authorities have not said what prompted the incident. He is free on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court on July 25.
Court records show Akel has avoided serious punishments after previously pleading guilty to damaging his family home in 1998 and a 2005 felony arrest on charges he attempted to steal a Ferrari worth $210,000 from a Hinsdale car dealership. In that case, prosecutors dropped the charges after Akel graduated from the county's drug court.
Twice in the past three years, members of Akel's family have been granted protective orders against him. A judge issued an order of protection in 2007 around the time Akel was charged with disorderly conduct after, according to prosecutors, he sent a picture to a family member's phone showing him with a gun. The accompanying message included a death threat against his relatives.
That case was also dropped by prosecutors after the complaining witness - Akel's relative - did not appear in court.
Another order of protection was issued in 2010 after an incident at the family home that left Akel's father concerned for his son's safety. The father indicated Akel was bipolar and on medication, court records state.