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Posted on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Police: Man arrested in Riverside Park after swinging knife at 13-year-olds

By Julie Baker

Ypsilanti police say they used a stun gun Monday evening to subdue a 50-year-old Ypsilanti man who was swinging a knife at a group of 13-year-olds at Riverside Park.

Police responded to the park, off of Cross Street near Depot Town, around 7:45 p.m. for a report of a felonious assault that involved a knife, according to a news release.

Officers arrived on scene to witness the suspect swinging a pocket knife at the victims - an Ypsilanti boy, an Ypsilanti Township boy, an Ann Arbor boy and an Ypsilanti girl - all age 13.

Police said they used a stun gun and the man was taken into custody after a short struggle. The suspect was then taken to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor for treatment of stun gun probe punctures and later lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail. Police said he was in good condition.

The 13-year-olds were not injured and did not know the suspect, according to the release.

Further information was not immediately available.

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Julie Baker can be reached at or at 734-623-2576.


Julie Baker

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

Here's an update with arraignment info:

Mark Hergott

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

Ok, when the police tell you to drop your knife, you drop your knife, and you lie down with your hands open and apart. You don't attempt a brief struggle. We can speculate as to why the police had to get involved, but we don't need to speculate that the man made a bad choice that could have been fatal if it weren't for the excellent training of the YPD. I am very proud of Chief Walker and her department.

Julie Baker

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

We're hoping to clarify some of the details raised in the comments in a follow-up story.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 3:48 p.m.

I am pretty sure they were all just Larping.

Honest Abe

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

Stun gun or Taser? There is a difference. I'm pretty sure it was a Taser.

Honest Abe

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

Thank you, solitude! My point exactly!


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

"Taser" is a brand name for an electroshock weapon that fires barbed probes a distance and then emits electrical current. A Taser-type weapon is not the same thing as a stun gun, which does not send out probes. While a Taser weapon can also be used to stun without sending out probes, a stun-gun can only be used by someone in arms-reach of their target. YPD carries Taser-brand weapons. They do not carry "Stun Guns." If the AP uses the terms interchangeably, then the AP is wrong.

Julie Baker

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

We're using the generic form of Taser, stun gun, in accordance with Associated Press style.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

I find it very strange that man was still swinging the knife at the kids when the police arrived. I would hope my kid would be smart enough to remove himself to safty in that amount of time. Makes me believe theres more to the story.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

I wondered the same thing.

Urban Sombrero

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

Mental illness or drugs? Regardless, how scary. I'm glad no one was injured.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

To be fair....a group of 13 year olds very well COULD have been harassing the guy which would mean this was really an act of self-defense. There's just an extreme lack of detail in this story...such as any form of be able to know what was really going on. I don't think the guy would have started swinging the knife randomly....ockham's razor says that is provoked behavior.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

You are right the story is greatly skewed. For example when they made contact with the individual he was in the gazeboo? whats another name for a like structure.? Anyways yes badly reported article happened totally different that reported.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

And it doesn't really seem fair to conjecture about the situation. Maybe he attacked them out of the blue. maybe they threatened to kill him. Maybe all old people are crazy. Maybe all youth are ignorant curs. We should not make any (stereotypical) assumptions or try to judge the situation from this brief report.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

To be fair, it doesn't matter if they were insulting his mother. You don't get to attack kids--or anyone else for that matter--with knives.


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

the guy has mental problems


Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 10:59 a.m.

Ypsi State hospital was closed....why?

Laura Jones

Tue, Jun 18, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

To be humane to the insane. Prison has worked out so much better for them. (heavy sarcasm)