Police: Assault suspect asked witness to snap photo of bloody hands

Witnesses say road rage incident led to Caledonia Township attack

24 Hour News 8 web staff -

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An Ada man charged in connection to a suspected road rage attack in Caledonia Township asked a witness to take a picture of his bloody hands after the attack, court documents reveal.

Christian William Hillman, 18, was formally charged Tuesday with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder in the case.  He is also charged with using marijuana, based on his state when authorities arrested him Tuesday morning at his parents' home.

Hillman, who graduated from Lake Michigan Academy last spring and currently unemployed, lives with his parents in Ada which is only a few minutes away from the scene of the assault.

His parents were in court Wednesday and bailed him out of jail Wednesday evening. 24 Hour News 8 asked Hillman and his parents if they wanted to say anything as they left the Kent County jail, but they directed questions to their attorney.

The arrest comes nearly a week after a man was severely beaten in what witnesses described as a road rage incident on Sept. 29 in the 6100 block of Whitneyville Avenue.

When authorities arrived, they found 64-year-old William McFarlan of Caledonia lying by the side of the road, severely beaten. McFarlan suffered multiple fractures to his face and ribs and had bleeding on his brain, according to the probable cause document for Hillman's arrest.

Witnesses told deputies up to three young men pulled McFarlan from his car and then assaulted him, critically injuring him. The sheriff's office says no one else is facing charges in the incident. Investigators determined that a friend of Hillman arrived at the scene after the assault.

According to the probable cause filing, witnesses said they heard a male voice say, "Get up. I dare you to get up," and "that's what you get."

Witnesses said the suspects fled the area on a dirt bike style motorcycle and a four-wheeler.

Authorities found vehicles matching those descriptions about two miles away, at a home in the 8700 block of 52nd Street SE, according to court documents.

When detectives with the Kent County Sheriff's Department interviewed Hillman a day later, he admitted to getting into a fight with a man driving a Silverado truck, but said he acted in self-defense.

Hillman told police the driver "came at him and attempted to grab his neck" so he punched him several times and continued punching him while he was on the ground. Hillman told detectives he had to "make sure he was completely immobilize so he didn't hurt (him)."

Police said Hillman told them he was an ex-heavyweight boxer and he "lost his (expletive)."  He told police he "felt really bad about it" and that he was telling the driver "please don't get up so I don't hurt you anymore."

However, a man on an ATV told police when he rode up to the scene Hillman asked him to snap a photo of his bloody hands. Police say they have a copy of the photo as evidence.

The witness told police he saw Hillman kick the victim at least once; Hillman later admitted to stomping on McFarlan, court documents state.

A second witness told police he heard Hillman say the man he beat up was "weak and soft," according to court documents.

McFarlan's family told police medical staff said his chance of survival is slim. While the bleeding on his brain stopped, he's not breathing on his own, according to court documents.

"It's was very disturbing," said a neighbor who helped the victim after he assault. "I just feel for the family."

This neighbor asked that we hide his identify. He called 911 last week when he heard the commotion.

"I heard a loud noise it sounded like hitting the truck maybe but when I got to the vehicle and seen the gentleman I notice there was no damage to the truck so it must of been them repeatedly  beating the gentleman."

The neighbor says the McFarlan was having trouble breathing and his face was bloody. Bleeding from the front and the back.

"For people to be that angry it's just ridiculous," the neighbor added.

The sheriff's office says McFarlan remains in the hospital in serious condition. Investigations have not been able to interview him about what led up to the assault.

Hillman will be back in court on Oct. 19 for a probable cause hearing. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 26.

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