Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mirecki resigns, beating details still unknown.

Nation: The beating investigation of Paul Mirecki takes a turn to the strange.

" With a bruise visible under his right eye, Paul Mirecki paid a visit Tuesday afternoon to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Mirecki, a Kansas University religious studies professor, has been in the national spotlight since he reported early Monday that he was beaten by two unidentified men who made reference to his controversial online remarks about religion. Sheriff’s officials on Tuesday continued to investigate the case, and they’ve asked for the public’s help in finding the suspects Mirecki described: two white men in their 30s or 40s, one with a red visor and wool gloves, both wearing jeans, and driving a large pickup truck. ....Early Monday, Mirecki reported to deputies that he was driving in a rural area south of Lawrence when two men in a large pickup truck began tailgating him and he pulled over. He said he got out and the two men beat him with their fists and a metal object while making references to the recent Internet controversy. He was treated and released at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. “I got the hell beat out of me,” he told the Journal-World on Monday. Key facts about the reported attack remained unclear Tuesday, including exactly where it happened. A report released by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the location was “unknown” and listed it as south of 31st Street on either East 1400 Road or East 1500 Road. Louisiana Street turns into East 1400 Road outside the city limits. Haskell Avenue becomes East 1500 Road. Also, there was conflicting information about whether Mirecki reported it at the scene or at the hospital. In an interview Monday with the Journal-World, he said he called police from the side of the road, but sheriff’s officials said they were dispatched to the hospital. Mirecki declined to clarify the discrepancy when asked about it Tuesday outside the sheriff’s office. “I can; I just don’t want to,” he said. The sheriff’s report, which is classified as an aggravated battery, says that Mirecki suffered minor injuries. It says the incident started about 6:20 a.m. and was reported about 6:40 a.m."
The location being unknown seems weird, Mirecki should know at least the general area where he was attacked and there is bound to be evidence of a struggle, perhaps blood along the side of the road. Later in the day, the Sheriff's department said the charge was wrong.
"The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office initially labeled the attack on Professor Paul Mirecki a hate crime. But the office removed the title today, calling the labeling a mistake. Lt. Kari Wempe said that the error occurred Monday morning when the attack was reported. Officers wrongly transmitted the information over the police radio, she said. It is not classified as an aggravated battery. Capt. Schuyler Bailey of the KU Public Safety Office said the office met with Mirecki yesterday and told him to give them a call if anything happened on campus. The safety office is not involved in the investigation because the beating occurred off campus, he said."

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