This article ran in full on http://MichiganMessenger.com
Authorities in Battle Creek have apprehended a suspect in a brutal stabbing case there. Police originally said they thought the July 25 stabbing was a hate crime, but now say the motive of the attack was robbery, reports the Battle Creek Enquirer.
The suspect, Robert Bungo, 40, was arrested after a high-speed chase on Aug. 11. He was arraigned on a charge of possession of a stolen car. The vehicle in which he attempted to flee police was allegedly stolen in Dallas earlier in the week.
After his arrest, his 45-year-old stabbing victim identified Bungo as his assailant.
Bungo, officials said, will likely be in court again soon on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, auto theft and armed robbery stemming from the July 25 assault.
According to police, Bungo forced his victim to drive to Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek. Once in the park, Bungo allegedly forced the victim out of his car and stabbed him multiple times in the head and neck. A passerby heard the victim’s screams and came upon the attack. Bungo allegedly told the witness the situation was a “domestic” situation, then took the victim’s car and fled the scene.
The victim’s wallet was discovered in Charlotte, but the person who found it later burnt it because they were unable to reach the victim.
After the attack occurred, an anonymous post was put up on the website Craigslist. The post, titled “I warned you, you dumb queer,” took credit for the assault. A second posting appeared on Craigslist following the police announcement they were investigating the crime as a possible anti-gay hate crime. That second post denied responsibility for the crime but used derogatory language about gays.
Police tell the Battle Creek Enquirer the anonymous Craigslist poster called them to deny responsibility or knowledge in relation to the attack. Police say the poster put the comment up “as a prank.”
Equality Michigan, which tracks anti-gay hate crimes, was not amused.
“While we’re deeply saddened by the circumstances, we are thankful that a suspect is in custody for the stabbing incident in Battle Creek,” said Executive Director Alicia Skillman. “We are concerned, however, that the individual who originally claimed to be responsible for this violent act claims their hate speech on Craig’s List was merely ‘a prank.’ This was not a prank, this was a threat. These statements led police down the wrong path and may have put others at risk while attention was focused elsewhere. By the use of this vile and hateful language, this person instilled fear in the community.”
“Equality Michigan continues to work on educating the public, and hopefully this person will someday realize the ignorance of their actions.”