Oralandar Brand-Williams and George Hunter, Detroit News, May 17, 2012
A prominent Detroit minister was carjacked and assaulted Wednesday.
Pastor Marvin L. Winans, pastor of Perfecting Church, was still dazed as he spoke to WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) about the incident, which happened in broad daylight at a busy intersection on the city’s west side.
Winans said he was buying gas at a CITGO station on Linwood near Davison when he was approached and assaulted. He said he noticed 10 young men in the gas station, and several of them followed him out.
“There were at least four of them who followed me out,” said Winans, 54, also an actor and member of the Grammy-winning gospel family The Winans and nationally known pastor delivered the eulogy at singer Whitney Houston’s funeral in February.
Winans, who was struck while pumping gas into his luxury SUV, described the attack as “quite savage.”
He said the attackers also grabbed at his pants and ripped them off. Winans said he didn’t know if the men knew who he is but if they did, “it didn’t matter.”
Gas station clerk Moe Sayed said the suspects beat Winans in the face, took his pants and wristwatch. Sayed said he believes there is a group that comes into the gas station to hang out and rob patrons. He said one gas station customer was shot there about four months ago.
“We call police about 20 times a day,” he said. “They (the suspects) come in and sell drugs.”
The attack is the latest incident of brazen and rampant violence gripping the city, claiming even a former Detroit police chief among the victims.
On May 8, former police chief Stanley Knox was robbed and assaulted as he mowed his lawn on the city’s northwest side.
Taken in Wednesday’s incident was Winans’ 2012 four-door purple Infinity QX56 and money.
The suspects, all black males, fled in the vehicle south on Linwood, police said.
N. Charles Anderson, the president and chief executive of the Detroit Urban League, called the attack characteristic of the exploding violence in the city. “It’s like we are becoming lawless,” Anderson said.
Winans, who lives in Metro Detroit, said he doesn’t want to be afraid “of us.”