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Posted on Thu, May 16, 2013 : 8:50 a.m.

Suspects beat and attempt to rob Pioneer student walking home from school

By John Counts


Courtesy of Ann Arbor police

A 17-year-old Pioneer student was walking home from school around 3 p.m. Wednesday when three male suspects jumped him attempted to rob him, police said.

The student was walking in the area of West Stadium Boulevard and Marian Avenue in Ann Arbor when three people came up from behind him and pushed him to the ground, police said, and then struck him multiple times in the head.

The assailants also attempted to rob him, but the teen didn't have anything to steal.

“The suspects reached into his pockets and they were empty,” said Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush.

The three suspects then fled. The boy called a friend on his cell phone to pick him up and take him home where he called 911 to report the incident around 3:22 p.m, Bush said.

The boy suffered injuries to his lip and forehead, but did not need to be taken to the hospital.

He told police he did not recognize any of the suspects.

“He didn’t think that they were students," Bush said. "They appeared to be older.”

They were described as black males about 19 or 20 years old, all wearing T-shirts. Two of the suspects were wearing baseball hats and shorts. The third was wearing blue jeans, police said.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, May 18, 2013 : 12:56 a.m.

We did not receive a Neighborhood Watch regarding this incident. I would like to ask the neighbors along Stadium, the Pioneer Woods and along Greenview Park to keep an eye out for the students, they start leaving Pioneer about 2:15 to 3:30 or so...takes a village...

John Counts

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:55 p.m.

To be clear, police did not specify if the victim was black or white.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

but they did say the assailants were...that's what people want to hear.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

I really feel this kind of story would gather much different attention had the appearance of the victim and suspects been reversed.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

The sky is falling the sky is falling.. Growing up in Ann Arbor I was "jumped" twice in the early 90's. Never made the Police Beat of the printed news. This sort of thing is horrible. It rocked my sense of security and confidence. Truth is, this is not YPSI od Detroit, this stuff has been happening here for years. You can sit on your computer and talk about how bad it is or you can get active in you community. That is if you dare to go outside!!


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

Why didn't he call 911 on his cell to start with?Not wait until he got home.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 10:52 a.m.

Well, Ann Arbor management (Mr. Mayor) has had a priority of Art and anything that sounds green as priority one for some time now. About time we added enough police to cover the size the city has grown to.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:33 a.m.

Nothing new here, been going on for along time. I could you tell you plenty of stories. They will say it is a "crime of opportunity"... but there is more to it than that.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

He "didn't have anything to steal"... His cell phone must have been a blackberry then... Not worth stealing I guess...

John Counts

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

Police said it wasn't clear why the suspects didn't take the cell phone.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:18 a.m.

Sigh. Just Sigh. (In response to both the physical assault that happened to the teen and the ignorant verbal assaults here.)


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

Sigh about what? People care about this city and the homes they own. With crap like this going on and essentially being encouraged by the Mayor and the Council in their bid to bring more homeless and low cost affordable housing into the area, what did YOU think would happen? this kid was beat up by punks who I guarantee were not here 5 years ago. Welcome to the new A2.

Michigan Man

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

Quality of life in Ann Arbor really going south fast!


Sat, May 18, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.



Fri, May 17, 2013 : 3:02 a.m. the directionally challenged.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 2:20 a.m.

you can say that again, as A2 is just north of Detroit.:)


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 11:32 p.m.

Welcome to Detroit.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:38 a.m.

When some of the first projects were built here they would claim that they were for Ann Arbor residents; but the truth is many residents ended up coming from places like the 'D'. The more affordable housing you build the more of a population in poverty you bring to your community.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 10:27 p.m.

something stinks here. I hope when they add everything up, the boy is ok and the assailants are caught. But something just doesn't seem right about this situation.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:41 a.m.

Probably because used cell phones can go for only $5 and be tracked. Their value has decreased among certain segments of the population in the age of free Obamaphones. Some criminals are dumb but eventually word gets out about what not to do.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:46 a.m.

Right...if he was being robbed why didn't they take his cell phone? That would have been the obvious (criminal) thing to do to help the odds of them getting caught decrease.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

I agree.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

If the boy had a concealed hand gun, would he have been justified in brandishing it?

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:45 a.m.

No, he's a boy. A man would have been justified to shoot in self defense though. Many people laugh off physical assaults as not being worthy of usng a gun but the truth is that a single blow can kill you (also from falling to the cement and striking your head).


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

Ahhhh, more downvotes from the gun nut crowd who can only fantasize about saving the day in heroic fashion, never once considering any other possible scenarios. You know I'm right - he was pushed down from behind and hit without ever getting a good look. You think a gun would have saved him? At best, he'd be dead from his own gun.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:53 a.m.

@AfterDark :The only sure thing I'm afraid is that it will cost you lawyer's fees. The use of deadly force is a very fine line in this state and should you kill or maim even an attacker you can end up in the pressure cooker. Pretty sad state of affairs in my opinion for trying to do the right thing.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

I'm curious about the legal ramifications for a witness who forcefully intervenes to stop such assaults. What would my liability be if I used whatever was handy to whack the assailants upside the head?


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

Sure he would have been justified, but he was already sucker-punched, on the ground and having his pockets turned inside out. The thugs would have got to the gun first, and this could have been MUCH worse.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

Nope...pretty sure you have to be 18 years of age to legally own a handgun let alone get a CPL. If he was 18 and had a CPL....then yes, he would.

Linda Peck

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

That makes me so sad, sad for the boy to endure such a thing, sad for him to feel unsafe forever, sad because of the Ann Arbor crime scene.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

The article is kind of ambiguous as to whether he called his friend from his own cell-phone or if he called a friend's cell phone from another phone, but I assume he did not have a cell phone with him because it didn't get stolen and he called 911 from home? Please clarify.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:47 a.m.

Nothing mysterious. If you were a kid and had just been beaten up you would probably want to go home too.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:48 a.m.

@John that seems very mysterious...

John Counts

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

He used his own phone to call a friend. It was not stolen. The friend came and picked him up. The teen called 911 when he got home.

bill s

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 5 p.m.

Everyone commenting on this article is unable to talk about the elephant looming large in the room. refuses to ever address it themselves, and refuses to allow anyone to say it in the comment section. Commenters are forced to use code words or phrases lest they get the dreadful "a comment that violated's conversation guidelines was removed". Commenters uses words such as "Detroit" or "Ypsi" to refer to one demographic subset of our SE Michigan population. If we as a society are not allow to discuss ugly problems and then offer ideas and solutions, but not hate, without being labeled and blocked, we will continue to lose our ability to live without being fearful doing the simple little things, such as walking home from school in broad daylight at three in the afternoon alone. My fear is that if we don't shine the light of reality and truth directly on the problem WITHOUT filters, we will all need a good chiropractor because our necks will be sore from constantly looking over our shoulders.

Cendra Lynn

Tue, May 28, 2013 : 4:47 a.m.

Stereotypes are not reality. The desire to go back to hate speech is regressive. Trying to fix a problem by using generalities and stereotypes is a proven way to make things worse.

Steve Bean

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:19 a.m.

Christopher, I'm very clear that I don't see something until I do.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:11 a.m.

The real problems begin when the actions of a specific few are used to generalize about the whole. Now I'm seriously thinking about carrying my camera and zoom lens in the car all the time.

Christopher Misner

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

Steve Bean You really can't see it, its rather obvious if you open your eyes.

Steve Bean

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 5:55 p.m.

bill s, all you have to do is discuss matters in specific, objective terms, not generalizations. "The problem" in this case was three "black males about 19 or 20 years old, all wearing T-shirts. Two of the suspects were wearing baseball hats and shorts. The third was wearing blue jeans" (according to the police) who assaulted the boy who reported it. If you don't have information as to their whereabouts, there's probably nothing to discuss. In other words, the elephant you see doesn't exist except in your mind.

Urban Sombrero

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

Holy cow! I'm glad the kid is OK, minus a few bruises and cuts. How scary for him.

Dirty Mouth

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

How unpleasant can this town get?


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

Detroit's troubles reaching Ann Arbor...


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

This has been going on a long time in AA. It's always been viewed as "easy pickings" for thugs regardless of where they originate.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

Nothing that doesn't happen everywhere from time to time and not news until the internet made such items super cheap to "print." Sigh.

Steve Bean

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 1:21 a.m.

The only thing we will have lost, 1bit, is our belief that it means something that it doesn't.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

When we stopped being shocked or appalled by things like this is when we have truly lost.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

Again, ATTA needs to give high school students free bus passes. If the students don't live near a bus line, add a line. All that money spent on bike lanes and nature paths and none for high school students to get safely to and from school? Only in Ann Arbor!


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

gladys - I don't think you understand how big and spread out the Ann Arbor School District is. AATA does not cover about 80% of the total land area, you are talking about adding not one line but probably 40 lines.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

well you know what this means. we need to ban walking.

There Is Time

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

If banning saves just one child, it should be done


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

Hmm ... there must be a mistake here ~ this dastardly deed surely must've occurred in Ypsi. A2 is immune from such urban issues and more tolerant/understanding of the factors involved ... how bout midnight basketball as a solution ?


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

That location is just 1 block from the house on Kirtland where police found numerous items believed to be taken by Javare Holmes in multiple Ann Arbor break-ins. ( story from May 14th.)


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Great. SE MI is becoming a cesspool. Ypsi and Detroit are overflowing more and more everyday. Yet we continue to spend millions on "affordable" housing and neglect funding the police.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 6:01 p.m.

Ann Arbor just layed off Police. Ypsi and Ypsi Township just added more to the force. So don't go there. They are skipping Ypsi and heading straight to yuppie town. Money to be had.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 4:52 a.m.

You get what you want. Want more poor people? You can have them.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

Yup. Those are the priorities. Lay off police and fire fighters and skim funds for public art! Gotta love these decisions.

Robert Granville

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

I just want to say if you see something like this and you're driving by, stop. I guarantee someone did.... and did nothing. I'm not saying you need to join the confrontation.. but chances are you have a cell phone, a car horn and a voice.


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 2:18 a.m.

Wait a day or so. I'm pretty sure someone stopped, and probably got out their camera phone to record it. Ok give it three days... That's long enough for it to show up on YouTube.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

I would have stopped and made sure at least ONE of them was apprehended. Get one and they can snitch out the rest.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

That's basically my childhood neighborhood. This makes me VERY angry...


Fri, May 17, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

Billy, I am so sorry to read of this. I am a short white blonde "busty" female and I was picked on for it. Luckily I am very agressive and tough and can really run! My best friend was white, tall, slender and picked on by some very tough girls for her being different from them. I was ironically her buddy when it came to being bullied. I COMPLETELY agree that A2's concept that it's so "liberal" only makes it morendifficult. I am sorry that it has never changed. The school officials and the police thought it was mostly laughable. I loved growing up there for the most part and can't imagine having lived there any longer than I had to. I left at 22+. I wish the best to this and all unfortunate victims. Truly. Work out, get defense training and try to be aware of the route you take. And find a good counselor in or out of school to help.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:02 a.m.

Billy, regarding your assault and the racial remark made at the time, I'd just like to say that you are far from alone in having this happen to you. It happens to many young people... and later on they just tend to forget about it and move on. The fact that Ann Arbor views itself as a tolerant, inclusive place concerned about racism, civil rights and injustice, has done nothing to mitigate this kind of thing. The people who engage in it do so because that is who they are (it has nothing to do with who we are).


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

dang that's rough man i'm sorry that happened to you.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

The kids who beat me? Nope, of course not. I only saw one of their faces for a second and then the beating started, and at least back then we weren't about to go to the police over it. If this happened to my son today....yes I'd go to the police in an instant. Want to know the "irony" of it all? I was pulled out of Eberwhite school about halfway into 1st grade and sent to Emerson (this was before ANY expansions had been built at the school and it was tiny). The reason I'm told was because I routinely had to be picked up from school early after having been beaten up. I repeatedly had busted lips, black eyes, and bloody noses. I don't remember any of this but my mother said it happened and I just "blacked it all out." Truthfully I have only ever remembered a few things from those years, and most of them were bad, so it could be true. I was an EXTREMELY naive child, I didn't understand "lying" and always thought people told the truth. I was the gullible kid. So I was pulled out of "public school" because I was being constantly beat up....and here my very first day back into "public school" I got beat up for NO reason other than...well, if I directly say why I believe I was attacked my comment will be deleted... So actually...that's not irony at all...more of a cruel coincidence.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

did they ever get caught?


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Let me expound on WHY that makes me so angry.... After my first day of school at Slauson I walked one block up Washington from the back entrance and waited for my mother to come pick me up. 3 kids walked up to me and one of them asked me what time it was. As I looked down to check the time on my wristwatch, I saw a fist coming up to my mouth. They beat me mercilessly for about a minute (I really don't remember, could have been 10 second honestly), kicking me in the head and ribs, until a neighbor yelled at them and they ran. I still remember what one of them yelled out, kinda laughing almost, as they beat me, "this stupid white boy." So yeah....this reminds me a bit of this. 3 on 1...unprovoked attack....a block off campus. Consequently Mr. Ravlin was the principal my mother talked to about it, and he pretty much tossed her out of the office because he said the assault happened OFF school property so they weren't liable.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

Unbelievable. Raise the rent!


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

I bet these guys aren't paying rent. Most likely you and I are.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

Broad daylight. Unreal.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Oh good. And they want all the high schoolers to walk next year.

Jay Thomas

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 5:06 a.m.

I rode my bike. They can too.

Angry Moderate

Fri, May 17, 2013 : 12:45 a.m.

As if bad things never happen to cars and buses?

Robert Granville

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Might be safer with numbers? Maybe