Serial Stabber Has Flint Residents On Edge 8-07-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Serial Stabber Has Flint Residents On Edge 8-07-2010

As police search for a serial killer near Flint, Mich., who has stabbed over a dozen victims, nearby communities are becoming more anxious.
Otho Williams lives just blocks away from where the latest stabbing attack occurred in Flint on Saturday morning. Michigan State Police have not yet confirmed that the latest stabbing is connected to the serial stabber.
"Everybody's just worried," Williams said. "You know, because any man in his 50s, 40s -- doesn't make (any) difference in danger."
Many residents warned one another not to walk the streets alone.
The latest victim was a little taller and heavier than most of the serial killer's 13 previous victims, but he was in his 40s, which is similar to most of the killer's targets.
A source told TV-5 the victim was able to walk to the emergency at McClaren Medical Center. He was admitted in critical condition and was flown to a medical facility in Ann Arbor.
Word about the latest stabbing spread quickly through the nearby areas. One woman heard about the stabbing while at work and began carrying a stick for protection.
"It's scary," she said. "(The victim was) just in front of the hospital, and it just didn't matter."
Residents like Williams pleaded with the police to catch the killer before he strikes again.
"I wish they'd try to catch him or try to do something, because he's just out here killing people, stabbing people," Williams said. "Flint is not safe. It's not safe."
Authorities looking into the string of slayings involving black men in the Flint area said they first became sure of a pattern earlier this week which prompted them to suspect that a serial killer might be on the prowl.
Flint police Lt. T.P. Johnson told The Associated Press Friday that the pattern became more apparent Tuesday -- a day after the body of a 49-year-old man was found. He was one of five men killed since May.
A Michigan State Police task force now is leading the investigation.
On Saturday, the Michigan State Police issued a release about the law enforcement effort to catch the serial stabber.
A combined task force of Genesee County law enforcement officials met on Saturday at the Flint State Police Post to continue the ongoing investigation and follow up on leads and tips. Investigators from several Genessee County law enforcement agencies are now assigned to the investigation on a full-time basis.
State police said the stabber is described as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s, standing 5-feet 11-inches to 6-feet 2-inches tall, weighing between 180 to 210 pounds with light colored hair and usually wears a baseball cap during the attacks. Officials also said he has a large metal “rod” type piercing in the upper left ear. Survivors have described their assailant as a younger, muscular white man.
Johnson said he suspects the attacks might be racially motivated. He said the attacker seeks out smaller black men at night after asking for directions or help with car trouble.
Police urged citizens to remain vigilant and report any information or suspicious activity to the MSP Flint Post at 810-732-1111.
Police said they plan to release more information about the investigation on Monday at 4 p.m. during a press conference at the McCree Courts and Human Services Building in Flint. TV-5 and will attend and continue to report the latest details on this ongoing story.

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