On July 25th, police say a 45-year-old man was brutally stabbed multiple times in the head and neck after another man forced him at knife point to drive from a gas station to wooded area of the Leila Arboretum. The suspect fled, taking the victim’s car after a witness heard screaming and interrupted the attack.
Now Battle Creek police say the attack was likely a hate crime, reports the Battle Creek Enquirer:
Detective Sgt. Austin Simons, supervisor of the detective bureau, said Thursday that police are investigating an online posting which appeared the day after the attack on Craigslist, a classified advertisement website.
In the anonymous message, which has since been removed, the writer, using derogatory references to gays, alluded to the attack under the headline “I warned you, you dumb queer.” The message continued about the meeting at the park and “I e-mailed and said I have something … but you did not think it was a knife did you. Now you are in the hospital and your car is in the river. I warned you.”
According to the Michigan Messenger, a second anonymous post appeared on Craigslist, this time the poster denied responsibility in the assault.
The post was filled with anti-gay slurs and references to AIDS. The writer claims that the previous post was “to keep the fags out of the parks, and I am the one that did it. It is not safe to take children to parks or for a walk in the woods without running into a dick sucking party.”
Police said the first Craigslist posting included a photograph, which does seem to match the description of the attacker the victim gave police, of a stocky white man with a bald, shaved head.
Both posts have since been removed from the website.
Simons said police still are looking for the victim’s car, a copper-colored Toyota Matrix and the suspect, described as a stocky white man with bald or shaved head and wearing a black shirt the day of the attack.
The victim, whose name has not been released, was hospitalized for ten days.
With the suspicion that the stabbing may be a hate crime, Battle Creek Police have contacted the FBI to assist in the investigation.