Report: Gay Detroit Senior Andrew Anthos Was Not Attacked

Detroit Police said on Wednesday that gay senior Andrew Anthos, who was reportedly attacked in front of his apartment with a pipe of February 13 after his assailant had taunted him over his sexuality, died of natural causes and was never attacked.

Anthos2This has been the account: “According to family members, Anthos said he was riding a city bus home from the library on Feb. 13 when a young man asked him if he was gay and uttered a slur. Anthos said the man followed him off the bus and confronted him again. Anthos said he told the man he was gay as he went to help a friend whose wheelchair was stuck in a snowbank, according to his cousin, Athena Fedenis.”

In the days following the incident, Anthos, 72, clung to life in a Detroit hospital before slipping into a coma and dying.

According to the AP, “the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that Anthos fell because he had an arthritic neck, and detectives were unable to find witnesses to a beating, police said…Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Schmidt said evidence did not support the report of an attack on Anthos and said a head injury likely came from falling. Anthos probably flexed his neck, which caused arthritic spurs to compress his spinal cord enough to paralyze his legs, Schmidt said.”

Said police spokesman James Tate to the Detroit News: “There’s no evidence that an assault occurred. They determined that he died of natural causes.”

Homicide unit supervisor Lt. Linda Vertin said the case would be closed due to lack of evidence of an assault. The report of the attack on Anthos sparked a renewed outcry in Michigan and across the country from gay advocacy groups for hate crime legislation.

The AP notes, “It was unclear what police made of the friend’s account.” It’s also unclear where police came up with a sketch of Anthos’ attacker which was released on March 1st.

Athena Fedenis, Anthos’ cousin, whom police did not talk to before going public with their findings, expressed shock that the case was closed: “I’m just livid about this. Andrew didn’t have any reason to make this up. I won’t let this rest. I can’t let this tarnish him. I don’t want anyone to think it wasn’t a hate crime.”

Police, coroner: Detroit gay man died naturally, not from beating [detroit news]
Police Say Gay Man Not Fatally Beaten [nyt]

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Vigil for Andrew Anthos Tonight; Sketch Released of Killer [tr]
Detroit VIPs Silent on Gay Senior Andrew Anthos’ Murder
Gay Senior Citizen Brutally Beaten in Detroit Hate Attack Dies [tr]


  1. Rob (lrdarystar) says

    Wow. I can’t believe the police would make a press release like this. No assault? I can’t know all the specifics but it sure seems it was. Where did the sketch come from?

  2. says

    Can’t wait for Focus on the Faggot, et al to pick up on this story and run with it. They will use it, just as they did the 20/20 hit piece on Matthew, to justify their opposition of including gays in hate crimes legislation.

  3. FizziekruntNT says

    Sick. Just sick.

    Even the subject order in the New York Times reads as fact in the very first paragraph if one merely skims the surface. What asses. This reeks of a slick cover-up.

  4. RJP3 says

    So this guy somehow said he was attacked – and somehow a sketch was made of the attacker. Then afterward when he slips into a coma and dies the authorities discredit his account with a medical examiner’s findings … how about he flexed his neck while he was being attacked and THAT killed him.

    Such a twisted insult to this man.

  5. sean says

    well, isn’t that just convenient. sure does take the presh off the detroit police to solve THIS crime. what a joke. someone needs to be bitch-slapped. let’s start with the medical examiner who’s prolly in cahoots with the detroit chief-of-police…

  6. Rad says

    The count down to armegeddeon is at, what, three minutes to midnight? This kind of story makes me think of a “Countdown to Stonewall” clock that is in about the same position. It’s ashame. If the attack were racially motivated, Detroit would be burning right now, and every broadcast news station would be covering it.

  7. Robert In WeHo says

    Absolutely outrageous! Only can a gay senior citizen be attacked with a pipe and have the police call it a death by natural causes. Clearly, homophobic bigotry and prejudice are alive and well in good old Detroit!

  8. says

    Press release from Michigan’s Triangle Foundation:

    Today, Triangle Foundation joined with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in calling for more witnesses to come forward in the attack on openly-gay 72-year-old Detroiter Andrew Anthos. The Task Force has offered a $5,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in the case.

    “Triangle Foundation stands in full support of the family of Andrew Anthos, whom we still believe was the victim of a vicious anti-gay assault which ultimately led to his death,” said Triangle Director of Victims Services Melissa L. Pope, J.D. In addition to Andrew’s statements about the attack to his family while on his deathbed, there was a witness present who provided police with a sketch of the man we believe attacked Andrew.”

    Triangle Foundation will continue working with Andrew’s family and the press to reaffirm what we believe to be the truth in this case. The coroner’s report, which we have not seen at this time, is unfortunate because it may lead to justice not being served in this case.

    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy’s office has issued a call for witnesses to call the Detroit Police Department. Triangle and the Task Force request that witnesses who may feel unsafe contacting the police call Triangle directly at 313-537-7000, ext. 112 or 1-877-787-4264.

    Further, we request that everyone receiving this message forward it to everyone they know in the city of Detroit and/or anyone thay know who may have been in the city on the night of Feb. 13 who may have been a witness to this attack. Together, we will pursue justice in this case.

  9. Jack! says

    I said the citizens of Detroit, police and all support the beating of a gay man. Here’s the proof.

    They are covering this up because they don’t want Andrew Anthos’ killing to be the catalyst to inact hate crime laws for sexual orientation and sexual identity in Michigan.

    This will not be the last we of this case.

  10. says

    Wow! Just wow!!

    To those who don’t believe the police (which is supposed to protect all citizens) can be corrupted for purely political reasons, WAKE UP TO THIS.

    Cause it could happen to any of us.

    Case closed? So Andrew essentially comitted a form of “suicide”? That is possibly the most frightening and bizarre conclusion of a case that that has garnered national attention.

    But I’m sure someone involved in this case will eventually come out and spill the beans about the reasons for this massive cover up. It always happens; so the police and the examiner’s office are shooting themselves in the foot. Cause once the truth is known, it’ll tarnish their reputations.

    I’m glad Task Force and Triangle are going about it the right away – which is to keep pressing for answers and keep the story alive for as long as it takes. Even it takes vigils and marches. Put it out there for people to hear what’s going on.

    That is also what we can do ourselves. Do not accept this conclusion. Keep writing to the press, the gay media, your blogs, your friends. Never ever bow to silence.

  11. Sharon says

    Andrew Anthos was beaten! The Detroit Police Department kept it hushed under the authority of Former Mayor, Kwayme Killpatrick. Anyone who knows about Mr Killpatrick knows he was charged with corruption while he was the Mayor of Detroit. They kept it hushed because it was murder. They didn’t want to remain the number 1 murder capitol and they didn’t want to cause a riot by Gay supporters. Andrew Anthos told he was beat before he passed away at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Why would he lie? Wake up people!

  12. Sharon says

    Seems to me that shortly after Andrew Anthos passed away, there was a story about a woman who died of natural causes while attending a college in Michigan. The medical examiner said she died of natural causes, but it was later reported by the medical examiner that she had been murdered. Medical examiners can be wrong then????

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