Former WYPR editor charged with stabbing son in Joppa

Former WYPR-FM editor and longtime journalist Sunni Khalid has been accused of stabbing his adult son, according to prosecutors at a Harford County District Court bail review hearing Monday.

Khalid, 55, of the 400 block of Acadia Drive in Joppa, was let go from the Baltimore-based radio station last year after nine years as managing editor. He had been placed on probation for questioning Israeli political influence on a Facebook page, according to news reports at the time of his dismissal.

He was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure in connection with an incident that police said started at about 11 p.m. Thursday. The victim was allegedly stabbed with a knife so deeply that his liver was scratched, according to an assistant state's attorney.

Attorney Steve Levin told the judge Khalid has no criminal history and was defending himself against his son.

Khalid is also a former Baltimore Sun reporter and previously worked for National Public Radio.

Levin read a letter from Marc Steiner, a former colleague at WYPR, in which the radio host defended Khalid's integrity and offered to "open our home," if Khalid were released. Steiner, who left WYPR in 2008, currently hosts a talk show on WEAA-FM.

Steiner wrote that Khalid was the first person Steiner turned to after establishing the news department at WYPR and called him "the bedrock of that department."

"We believe he would never hurt another human being," Steiner said, calling Khalid "a man of peace and openness."

Jerry Bembry, a  Morgan State University professor, said he would also vouch for Khalid and open his home to him, Levin said.

Levin noted he is taking the case pro bono because Khalid does not have the money for court costs.

According to court charging documents, Hassan Khalid, the son, told a sheriff's deputy he and his father got into an physical altercation over keys that had been locked in a vehicle. While the two were wrestling, the father allegedly took out a Swiss Army knife and stabbed the son in the right elbow, the upper left arm and the upper abdomen, according to charging documents.

When the investigating sheriff's deputy arrived at the Khalid home, Sunni Khalid had already left the scene to pick up another son, according to the charging documents.

Harford County District Court Judge Susan Hazlett ordered Kahlid held on $50,000 bail. She also ordered him to have no contact with the victim and not to return to his Joppa home.

Khalid was still being held at the Harford County Detention Center as of midafternoon Monday.

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