CSI, Detroit.

This is what you might call an Oops moment: There was a death in Detroit a few weeks back, of an out-and-proud senior citizen named Andrew Anthos. He was what newspapers typically call a “community activist,” which is code for a type that can range from “diligent writer of letters to the editor” at one end to “raving loon peddling conspiracy theory about the mayor’s secret link to black ops at FEMA” at the other. Anthos — of whom I knew nothing prior to his death — fell at the saner end of the spectrum.

His cause was not gay rights, but, well, wait for it:

For most of the last two decades Anthos frequently rode the bus from Detroit to Lansing to wage a solitary patriotic crusade to light the capitol dome in red, white and blue one night of the year to honor military veterans and police officers. …In an interview with The State News in 2003, Anthos said he wanted to inspire other states to similarly light their capitol domes as well.

So, OK. In late February, the news reports say, he was beaten on the street by a man who hit him on the head with a pipe and left him unconscious in the street. Anthos had just disembarked from a bus, where the same man, the attacker, directed anti-gay slurs at him. “Before and after the beating,” another account went, “the attacker shouted anti-gay slurs.”

Yesterday the autopsy report was released. Are you ready?

Natural causes. Arthritis, specifically:

The Detroit Police Department said it has accepted that Anthos died of natural causes and closed its investigation, saying no witnesses have been found to confirm a beating. … But it was likely a simple movement, not a whack on the head, that felled the man, Schmidt said. “He probably just flexed his neck,” which caused arthritic spurs to compress his spinal cord enough to cause paralysis of his legs. After spinal surgery in the hospital, that numbness later spread to his upper body and caused Anthos to stop breathing, Schmidt said. The only injury noted in the autopsy was a 2-inch-wide bruise on the back of Anthos’ head, which likely came when he fell, Schmidt said. The injury was minor, he said.

The anti-gay slurs? “Raised voices” from the general direction of the back of the bus. The witness to the attack? “Heard a thump,” turned around to see his friend lying on the ground, and a man walking away, nothing in his hand.

This could be the cornerstone of a great law-school class on the value of witnesses. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the weekend’s how-the-hell-did-this-happen analyses.

Friends, I’m tapped out of everything but muscle aches today. In an amazing turn of events, my arthritic knee is pain-free. My quads, hams and glutes, however, are screaming that I should have sat out at least one set of “climb the stairs by twos” the other day. Off for something milder. Back later.

Posted at 9:39 am in Current events |

9 responses to “CSI, Detroit.”

  1. Dorothy said on March 29, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Well no wonder no one has written a comment in today’s post. People are still having fun writing headlines after yesterday’s post!!

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  2. Joe Kobiela said on March 29, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    The knee is probly still going, ouch,ouch, you just can’t hear it talking to you because of the other joints and muscles are screaming louder. I told you to take it slow at first. Biggest mistake you can make when getting back into a exercise routine is to do too much to soon. I suggest ICE, not HEAT, and some light streching, then return to working out, just take it a little bit easy.

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  3. nancy said on March 29, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    When you’ve spent the winter doing little more strenuous than lifting a coffee cup, some soreness is inevitable. I warmed up nice and slow today and feel much better. Tomorrow: Cardio only.

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  4. brian stouder said on March 30, 2007 at 7:18 am

    Wait a minute! “arthritis” killed the guy?

    So now, if Madam Telling Tales is riding her bike and suddenly has one of those spasms, the newspaper-selling headline (at least in the Pointes) could be



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  5. cce said on March 30, 2007 at 8:15 am

    LOL at Brian Stouder’s Javelin headline.
    Advil, Advil, Advil for those aches, Nancy. And don’t take too much time off before your next ride or you’ll be sore all over again. Remember the term “muscle memory.” My muscles seem to need an activity at least four days a week to form any memory at all.

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  6. Dorothy said on March 30, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I love Advil, but I’m not supposed to take it now that I’m on Celebrex for my arthritis. I think I miss it. Tylenol is the only thing I can take for other complaints – i.e. headache, cranky boss getting on my nerves, etc.

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  7. Danny said on March 30, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Tylenol is the only thing I can take for other complaints – i.e. headache, cranky boss getting on my nerves, etc.

    That’s why God made wine.

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  8. brian stouder said on March 30, 2007 at 10:44 am

    non-sequitur – It will be interesting to see FONNC Amy Welborn’s response this story


    an excerpt

    The Easter season unveiling of an anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ, dubbed “My Sweet Lord” by its creator, has infuriated Catholics preparing to observe some of their holiest days of the year. The 6-foot sculpture by Cosimo Cavallaro was to debut Monday evening, four days before Christians mark the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday. The final day of the exhibit at the Lab Gallery inside Manhattan’s Roger Smith Hotel was planned for Easter Sunday.

    My question is – will they eat it? If they did, the resultant ‘communion service’ would indeed be off-putting – not even to mention the specifics of such an operation…

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  9. Marcia said on March 30, 2007 at 11:07 am

    My Sweet Lord.

    Oh, that’s rich, no pun intended.

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