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Posted on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 8:52 a.m.

Deputies: Runner beaten and robbed by 4 men near Ford Lake

By Kyle Feldscher

Four men beat and robbed a 23-year-old man as he ran near Ford Lake in Ypsilanti Township Friday afternoon, a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office official said Monday morning.

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Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said deputies responded at 2:30 p.m. Friday to the intersection of Grove Street and Georgina Drive after being told of a robbery. The man told investigators he was running in the area when he saw four men on the sidewalk.

Fox said the man was punched and knocked to the ground by one of the four men. After he fell, the rest of the group punched and kicked him and one man went through his pockets, Fox said.

The four men then got into a black Ford Taurus with tinted windows and drove away from the area.

Two of the men were described as black, in their early 20s, with shoulder-length hair in braids and wearing black Carhartt coats. The third man was described as black, in his mid-20s to early 30s, bald and wearing a black Carhartt coat. The fourth man was described a black, between 18 and 25 years old and wearing a yellow sweater.

Anyone with information on this incident or the suspects is encouraged to call the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 734-973-7711 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).

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


Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

"If they cant keep us safe there, close it down!" How about instead- if you can't keep your self safe there, don't go. Police will rarely be available to protect you. If you will be traveling alone, if you will be parking your car in isolated areas, etc, you must be aware of the risks. People get assaulted on downtown sidewalks frequently. By the logic you suggest, should they close it down?


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 11:24 a.m.

Its a park. Park to me means children. If they can not keep children, or others going to this park to play, to relax, or to do what people and family's do in a park safe.....Close it down or charge an entry fee or something, to keep it safe. I think its pretty simple really. I'm thinking you may not have little kids? I do and by what I'm reading this is not a safe park for me and my family.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:17 p.m.

@Sue: I avoid situations where pulling a pistol in defense might be necessary. Avoidance, and then pepper spray, are much better alternatives. Nobody wins if someone gets shot. So how's that go, anyway? You go into a group of four people and shoot one or two of them. Turns out they have no weapons. Then what? How do you answer the simple question "why didn't you just avoid them if they looked dangerous to you? Why didn't you simply turn around and go in the other direction, if you were just getting exercise and did not even have a need to go in that direction?" How would you answer that?


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

Get a license to carry a concealed weapon, and don't be afraid to use it if necessary. A few thugs gunned down during these assaults might send a message to other thugs that they better beware.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

To the young man who was assaulted: I'm so sorry you had to go through this, I wish you a speedy recovery both in body and mind. Let's hope that the gutless cowards(four against one?!) are caught soon!!


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

More thuggery. Too bad, it could be a nice area. The cops and prosecutors and judges need to get serious about crime in that area, and stop handing out plea deals. These thugs are in a revolving door justice system and the public isn't safe as a result. Stop with the PC.

martini man

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 10:30 p.m.

Even if they catch these scumbags . $200 will get them out of jail and they can go back doin' what they do.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

They were a 'pack' -- of three. They brutally assault that poor man. I guess this is not a place to take my family on a picnic huh? If they cant keep us safe there, close it down! To the man that this happened too, I'm so sorry. It had to be scary.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 4:39 p.m.

actually I think there were four attackers. And then they claim they're victims of racism when we don't want to live, shop or anything else in certain areas. No, it's not because of the color of anyone's skin, it's the fact that it's not safe to be in areas that are predominantly occupied by certain minorities.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 5:19 a.m.

Went to this park to run a couple weeks ago. There was car window glass all over the lot, indicative of vehicle break ins. Parked in the Walgreens lot instead. On return from run a guy pulled up next to me and asked if the park was safe. He was relocating his business from A2 to Grove Rd. I told him it was a little dicey.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

Hate crime perhaps?


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

Perhaps he was considered an easy target because of his race.

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

Sure, just like the guy that got sucker punched the other day in Ypsi (and nothing taken). But they will continue to go down as crimes of opportunity with no hateful motive.

greg s

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Wonderful lake shore apts, just like schooner cove, Great tenants in both.

bill s

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

Sadly, some of the activities we enjoyed in the "old days", meaning prior to 9-11 and this devastating recession, can't be as easy and carefree anymore. I think the best part about living in Saline is the safety our police department, AND my good neighbors, provide; people run here at 3 in the morning. I'm blessed. You may find the only safe way you can run is grouping together.

martini man

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

IF the victim of this crime had no connection to the 4 thugs who attacked and robbed him, then I have a feeling that they did this just to have a little fun. Sort of like the punk who smashed the teeth out of that middle school boy. I doubt if many runners or joggers or walkers carry much cash or identification with them.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

When are the authorities going to do something about the crime in Ypsi????

Michigan Man

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

West - You hit the nail on the head - Just relentless, never ending crime coming out of Ypsilanti Township and Ypsilanti - pictures of the perps tend to suggest the same losers over and over again. I might favor the death penalty!

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

When judges stop handing out minimum sentences. When parole boards stop letting clearly dangerous criminals out of jail. When prosecutors stop offering too-goo-to-be-true plea deals. When communities start insisting that parents teach their children right from wrong. That's a lot of whens, though. In the meantime, Ypsi isn't a place where peaceful citizens are all that welcome.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Maybe we should start a trend of wearing t-shirts that say in big letters "I AM A RUNNER: I CARRY NO MONEY".

Jay Thomas

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

You are making the assumption that the perps can read.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Just another reason why I'm leaving this area. Can't wait to get out of here. I use this trail all the time to walk the dog and I do exercise my right to carry concealed.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Paul, please provide one example where criminals being shot at rush a person defending themselves and win.

you can't handle the truth

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

I left a year ago for several reasons, but crime was at the top of the list. Getting my front door kicked in was the last straw. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. It feels really nice to not have that sinking feeling driving down my street back home expecting to see the door bashed in. If you live in this area, it will happen to you. It's just a matter of when.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

Good and hopefully you won't get your weapon stolen from you. 4 guys could be a problem even with a gun in your waistband.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

Pretty stupid to "rob" a runner. We don't carry much of anything worth stealing. A car key, and maybe a watch. No wallet, no money, no credit cards.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

You should always have your ID and a little cash on you while outside, you never know if you might need it.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

What kind of spineless excuse for a human robs someone out running? There's a word I'd like to use here, but it would surely get me deleted so it's pointless. Also, who thinks runners carry their wallet while running? Doesn't sound like these thugs are very bright.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Honestly, why would you rob a runner? Very few runners carry anything of value. All I ever have are my keys, phone and pepper spray.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

Because sometimes, much too often lately, they don't just want your stuff.

Jay Thomas

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

Because they are idiots who are unable to reason past finding someone alone who looks like a victim. Looking at most crime in terms of risk versus reward you have understand that your average criminal is of below average IQ.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

Very true. Though phone theft is popular. But what you say is also why car break-ins are popular in parking lots where people run. This crime seemed more like thugs who wanted to beat someone up, anything they could get was a bonus.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

That is an isolated area that seems unsafe to be in alone. Even if the guy had a gun to defend himself, who is to say the other guys did not also? The best strategy in that situation is probably avoidance. If you see someone, especially a group, who is not doing typical trail activities, take your exercise in another direction.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:23 p.m.

Be aware that the simple act of "crossing the street" will quickly make you a target much in the same way as fleeing from an animal that is focused on it's prey will encourage pursuit.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

A small .380 handgun can be carried comfortably even while running. A licensed person is legally within their right to use it in defense against multiple assailants. A week earlier a mile or so from this area a woman was assaulted early in the morning by two thugs. It's sad that this area has come to this, but it is the truth. Like it or not. The police will not prevent crime and the judicial system does not adequately punish those that are caught.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Well, I guess you can just stay inside your house due to fear and do nothing. Hopefully the understaffed police department will help, or you will have time to call 911 or maybe you just won't get beat up too bad. Everyone has a choice.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:39 p.m.

"That is true, question is do you just open fire if a group of guys walk up to you mid day ?" Time for some training on the self defense laws of Michigan and some tactical training as well. The answer to that question is another question, are you in reasonable fear for your life or great bodily harm? Only YOU in THAT SITUATION can make that determination but you better be able to articulate it to as if to a jury of your peers.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

You know last year out in Redford, some legal gun owner fired a shot either in the air or in the ground-not sure which. He scared off the would be muggers, yet the police showed up and arrested the legal gun owner and it took many months and legal expense the fight the charge of firing the gun. Nobody got hurt, the thefts ran off and yet cause the police believe the gun owner didn't have to fire his weapon, he ended up in jail.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

That is true, question is do you just open fire if a group of guys walk up to you mid day ?


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

You both make good points but the main one here is that without situational awareness avoidance and 911 calls are not an option. Stay alert and be prepared!

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

I don't disagree with being prepared, but I don't see it in this case. There were four thugs. From the description of this event, by the time you realize there is an actionable threat, you've already been knocked to the ground and are being kicked. Make a move to get a gun out of a pouch or pocket, and the next kick maybe a lethal one to your throat. Or maybe one of the thugs has his gun in his pocket, more ready than you do, and with more experience using it in anger. And just because some guys are on a trail does not allow the gun to be drawn or brandished. The best response in this case, gun in the pocket or not, is avoidance. Running around them may not be an option, due to mud. And maybe a suspicious person report to 911.

tom swift jr.

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Keep voting down those tax increases that might fund better police protection, and keep voting the "support corporations and not communities/people Republicans" in office. The muggers, B&E experts and rapists send you their thank you!

Jay Thomas

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

You're assuming that is what it would go for; more often it just goes into salary increases. The one common theme places with fewer numbers of police have in Michigan is they are all run by democrats. Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac, Ypsi, etc. They were run into the ground over decades with high tax/big government policies and then in the end it is the democrat city government which chooses to cut back on police. No one else.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

More police might have resulted in a few arrests. Instead those thugs are still out there. Look how many crimes happen and the victim screams for help and nobody comes to help. If we had more bus services, police, etc, maybe somebody would have been around to help. Some cities wash the sidewalks and bus benches down each morning around 5 am. I know South Beach Miami does. So there is city workers out and about 4--5 am. Last week some rapist in Y got away after he attack some lady at 5:30 am, nobody was around to do anything. I know the city here doesn't hose the sidewalks down--or even sweep around them. Waste of money some folks believe.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

Look at all the flooding in downtown Grand Rapids, that is those R's for U. Don't invest in Public Works, just worry about not paying taxes and go to church each weekend and life will be good they believe.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Really? I thought it was the DEMS who keep cutting police and fire in A2...

1982 Brew Crew

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

Really? If you feel a desparate need to disparage the majority party in Michigan, please at least wait until there is a story that provides a reasonable outlet. Your posts otherwise are ridiculout, out of context with this crime, disengaged from reality.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Police aren't going to go jogging with you on the trail. I don't see how more cops, even lots of them, would have made a difference in this case.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

Running during the day or evening carries a large risk of encountering evil-doers. I always like to run in the morning for this very reason. Thugs are inherently lazy and do not like waking up early and the chances of me encountering a group like this before 9am are remote.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

You're dead on about the lazy part, but we all can't run in the a.m. so it's importnant to know the area you run in very well so you can know when things aren't right quicker. Always be aware when you run out there everyone!!