City Slang: James Van Horn and Dreadlock Mike killed in hit and run

July 27, 2013
By

Dreadlock Mike

News sources are reporting that two men, James Van Horn and a man who is known as Dreadlock Mike, both homeless, were killed at 2.30 a.m. on Saturday morning in an apparent hit and run incident approximately a mile from Comerica Park on Gratiot and Russell.

We were informed of the incident on Saturday morning when a clearly distressed Audra Kubat, who had previously written a song about Dreadlock Mike, called us up to spread the word, and it’s important that we do so because the people who killed these two men and then fled still haven’t been apprehended.

According to WXYZ/Action News, witness Ken Blaznek said that he “just saw the two guys laying there.”

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Dreadlock Mike was a veteran who had lost a leg and had been confined to a wheelchair for years. Van Horn was well known to Tigers fans as the guy who yelled “Eat ‘em up, Tigers” as they made their way into Comerica Park.

“He’s easily recognizable, the guy with the dreads and the wheelchair with no feet.” said Blaznek to WXYZ, “And the other guy, I didn’t realize it was the ‘Eat ‘em up, Tigers’ guy until I talked to police afterwards.”

A Facebook page has been set up to help find the people responsible. Visit that here.

Kubat posted on her Facebbok page that, “I went today and created a small tribute on the NE corner of Russell and Gratiot Ave. Please add to it if you like, very Detroit style, a few stuffed animals and a few plastic flowers. Michael was very much an inspiration to me. He was a vet, had lost his legs, and still through the hardest winters, for as long I can remember, he remained and persevered. Saw him once on a night so cold that his beard was white from the ice that was forming on it. I just spoke to him two days ago. I hope they find the people who did this!”

These two men faced unimaginable hardship during their lifetime. Let’s try to help ensure that they get justice in death.

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  • Durk Barton

    This horrific tragedy is a testimony to the failure of modern society. I, too, know, “Dreadlocks Mike”, and I will mourn his death. It`s such a shame and a nightmare that a society as rich as the United States still has such a problem with homelessness and poverty. The one hope for any positive thing to come out of this is that perhaps some compassion could be generated in people. Even the Pope has asked for the rich to begin to show some concern for the downtrodden. Isn’t it a sad condemnation that we need to wait for awful tragedy to occur before we begin the discussion of real charity. I pray that besides bringing the persons responsible to justice we can begin to develop some solutions to the misfortunes of all people.