Father of Palestinian American Boy Slain Outside Chicago Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
December 5, 2023US News
Father of Palestinian American Boy Slain Outside Chicago Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wadea Al-Fayoume poses in an undated family photo. (CAIR/Handout via Reuters)

CHICAGO—The father of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy fatally stabbed in what authorities allege was a hate crime has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Oday Al-Fayoume filed the lawsuit last month against the suburban Chicago landlord charged in the attack that left his child dead and the boy’s mother seriously wounded. The attack has drawn condemnation from the White House.

Authorities allege Joseph Czuba, 71, targeted Wadea Al-Fayoume and his mother Hanaan Shahin, on Oct. 14 because of their Muslim faith and as a response to the war between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group. Mr. Czuba pleaded not guilty in October to hate crime and murder charges.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed Nov. 21 in Will County names Mr. Czuba, his wife, Mary Czuba, both of Plainfield, and their property management company, Discerning Property Management.

Mr. Czuba allegedly told his wife to inform. Ms. Shahin he wanted the family gone from the apartment where they’d lived for two years. He also allegedly said he was afraid Ms. Shahin’s “Palestinian friends were going to harm them,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Ms. Czuba and the management company “were indifferent and failed to recognize a threat and prevent serious bodily harm” to their tenants. A hearing is set for March 11.

“Justice comes in many forms … and there is, obviously, unbelievable loss in Wadea, but his mother also was injured seriously, and we believe that there are avenues to recover compensation for what the family’s been through,” said Ben Crane, Mr. Al-Fayoume’s lawyer.

The Czubas do not yet have an attorney in the wrongful death case and Ms. Czuba has filed paperwork to divorce Mr. Czuba, according to court records.

Mr. Czuba remains detained in Will County as he awaits a January hearing in the criminal case. His attorney, George Lenard, has said he won’t comment on the case outside court.

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