SYCAMORE - A DeKalb man who plead guilty in 2018 after pulling Muslim headwear off a woman at Walmart now faces a new hate crime charge after police say he hurled racial slurs and death threats at his neighbors Saturday.
Michael Dickey, 73, a retired chaplain, of the 200 block of Augusta Avenue in DeKalb, is charged with a hate crime, a Class 4 felony, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. If convicted of the felony hate crime, he could face up to three years in jail and fines up to $25,000.
According to DeKalb County court records, DeKalb police were called to the 200 block of Augusta Avenue around 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 31 for reports of disorderly conduct after a caller reported that the man was yelling racial slurs at his neighbors.
When police arrived, they reported meeting with Dickey and saw him making slurs in the presence of police officers. One victim, a woman from Colorado, told police that Dickey approached her in an aggressive manner and allegedly said “You’re a [racial slur which begins with N], I’m gonna kill the [racial slur which begins with N].”
The woman told police she was alarmed and feared for her safety. Police arrested Dickey on the scene and he was booked into the DeKalb County Jail.
On Monday, Dickey appeared before DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Marcy Buick for a bond hearing on the charges, and was released on a $10,000 recognizance bond.
DeKalb County Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Schwertley asked the judge to set bond at $10,000, with Dickey needing to post 10%, or $1,000, to be released from jail.
“There are certainly allegations of potential harm in this case,” Schwertley said to support the state’s ask for bond.
In his virtual bond hearing, Dickey attended from the DeKalb County Jail and appeared to shake his head multiple times as the judge read his charges, at once point appearing to weep.
It’s not the first time Dickey has been charged with a hate crime. At the time of his Saturday arrest, Dickey had completed 24 months of court-supervised probation as a condition of his guilty plea to a 2017 incident in which he pulled a hijab off a woman in the DeKalb Walmart. His plea deal was for disorderly conduct in relation to the incident.
Dickey was charged in 2017 with two counts of a hate crime, as well as battery and disorderly conduct after a Nov. 16, 2017 incident, according to court records. In exchange for a guilty on March 3, 2018, Dickey was sentenced to two years of court supervision.
In her bond ruling Monday, Buick cited Dickey’s past criminal history. Dickey asked that he be allowed to enter the DeKalb County courts’ veterans program, and said he was seeing a veterans counselor.