Kalamazoo Public Safety investigating after homeless man allegedly beaten, robbed
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Kalamazoo Public Safety is on the lookout for a group of teens that allegedly beat and robbed a man who was wearing a leprechaun outfit during St. Patrick's Day Friday.
Mike Ritter is a homeless man trying to scrape up any money he can to get back on his feet.
He says three teenagers assaulted him, took the money he collected, and left him badly hurt.
"I thought it'd be funny to dress up like a leprechaun and go out and try to make a little money," Ritter said.
Our cameras caught a glimpse of Ritter on Friday afternoon out on the Kalamazoo Mall, with a sign politely asking for money from those passing by.
"I wasn't begging for money or anything, I just set up a little sign, 'Unemployed leprechaun needs help. Happy St. Patty's Day,'" he said.
Around 7 o'clock Friday night, he began to leave the area.
"They had to see me standing outside there, collecting a little bit of money," Ritter said.
In an alleyway nearby, he encountered a group of three juvenile boys.
"They were like 15 years old maybe; they asked for a light, so I gave one kid a light, next stepped up and started punching me in the head. I tried to cover up, defend myself, but they knocked me out," Ritter said.
He says one of the boys punched him in the head nearly a dozen times, and the other two grabbed his money.
"They ripped my pocket open, and stole my money right out of my pocket," he said.
Ritter ended up at Bronson with a concussion. He says the beating left him with a sore back, and that the $65 he lost was nearly as much as he makes in a week in his part-time job.
"That's money that I needed to try to get work, and I can't get work," he said.
Ritter says he had a hard time describing the three juvenile suspects in detail.
Police are investigating.