LAPEER – It’s been a rough week at the Lapeer Community Center (LCC) as another victim has come public with allegations of an assault, only two days after an event the Tribune previously reported on where three minors jumped and viciously beat another minor on the basketball court.
This event occurred on Thursday, November 30, at about 6:00pm, where three men in their 30’s (according to victim) who are Flint residents became very aggressive and verbally abusive with three Lapeer residents aged 18-20 they were playing against. One of the Flint residents punched one of the Lapeer residents as he was walking away from an argument.
There was no staff around the basketball court at the time and the police were never called regarding the incident, as the victim has credible reason to fear armed retribution by the perpetrators if he were to get the police involved.
The Tribune spoke with the victim on condition of anonymity. He is a 20-year-old Lapeer City resident and student at University of Michigan – Flint. He frequently plays basketball at LCC with the two other players on his team.
“The guys we were playing against – they are not regulars – they’re from Flint – but I have seen them there before,” the young man said. We played five games with them over a period of 45 minutes to an hour. We beat them four out of the five games, and the more they lost, the more aggressive they became.”
As the game ended, the young man handed the ball to one of the other players and turned to walk away. “He then threw the ball, hard, at the back of my head,” he said. “I turned to face him and bounced the ball back at him. He threw it at my face. I deflected it, and he didn’t like that.”
“I turned to walk away again, and he punched me in the eye.” The victim was shocked that this had happened. “He was 10 to 15 years older than me. I asked him how old he was. He yelled something at me, and I decided it wasn’t worth it, so I went to the bathroom because I thought my eye was bleeding. It was just swelling really bad,” said the victim.
When he left the restroom, the men were leaving the court area. One of his friends told him that he overheard the three men saying, “Let’s wait in the parking lot for him” as they left. He decided to wait for 20-30 minutes before leaving, and when he saw a family with children leaving LCC, he walked out with them to his car.
When he got home, he looked the men up on Instagram. “I knew one of them by name because he is a Flint rapper. It turns out he has like 200,000 followers on Instagram. The guy that punched me was in pictures on his account and is his producer. In a lot of the pictures, they had lots of different guns. That’s when I decided not to go to the police.”
When asked what he thought the Rec Center should do to improve safety, he said, “I go to school at UM-Flint and sometimes I play at the gym there. There is always an armed security guard on the court. Maybe they need security at the Rec Center. I don’t know, but they need to do something.”
The victim also said he has heard “dozens” of similar stories in recent months from other men he has played with including an alleged incident of a gun being drawn in the parking lot. The Tribune has not been able to confirm these reports.
If you have a first-person report of illegal activity or assaults occurring at LCC or any other tip on a story, and you are afraid to contact police, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The LCC is a department of the City of Lapeer and is governed by the Lapeer City Commission, which meets on Mondays at 6:30pm.