GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A Grand Rapids woman says she watched a man beaten and robbed on her street -- an attack that caused him to die days later.
The man was attacked at around 4 a.m. Sunday in the 1900 block of Horton Avenue SE. He died Tuesday at Mercy Health St. Mary's Hospital of head injuries sustained in the attack. Grand Rapids police are still working to identify the victim, who they think was an undocumented migrant worker and may have been targeted because he carried cash.
Amanda Norton happened to be sitting on her front porch, returning from a late shift at her job, when she saw the attack.
"I heard footsteps running and I looked," she said.
She saw three young men chasing a fourth down her street.
"[The victim] was starting to slow down a bit down the street and [one of the suspects], the last guy, kept telling the two in front of him, 'Catch him, catch him, catch him.' He said it three times. And that's when they hit [the victim]," Norton said.
The men hit the victim in the head, Norton said, took off his pants, boxers and a sock and left him in the street.
"One hit to the right side [of the head] and he fell on the side of the street," said Norton. "They knocked him out."
The three men then ran away. Norton was by the victim's side within a few minutes, bringing him a pair of her sweatpants to wear.
"He looked like he was drunk, but then it could have possibly been a lot more from the injury," said Norton. "Maybe he hit his head, you know, after falling. After them punching him."
She said he could barely speak. He named the Burton Street and Division Avenue intersection, near where he lived, and told Norton and another person one more thing before passing out.
"They told him in Spanish they were going to come back, steal his car; come back and kill him," Norton said.
Norton said the victim's injury started swelling almost immediately. Norton said he was able to get up and walk a short distance, but then passed out on a nearby porch.
"First responders tried waking him up. Nothing. He'd move a little bit, but pick up his arm it would limp right over. It would just fall. It was like dead weight," Norton said.
Grand Rapids police still don't have a good description of the men responsible.
Finding out the man she tried to help died, left Norton worried about the safety of her neighborhood.
"Kind of unsafe a little bit," said Norton. "We got a lot of little kids running around down here. You never know who's out to get you or if you have any bad reputation."
She said she's also wondering if she did everything she could have.
"I tried to help somebody and to hear that early in the morning is kind of nerve-wracking -- kind of scary. I gave him a pair of my pants, you know," she said. "I feel bad. I don't know if there's something more I could have done. I don't know."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3604 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
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