Police seek man in hate crime death
Andrew Anthos died 10 days after man attacked him in Detroit, investigators say.
Andrew Anthos, who died after being struck with a pipe, was a respected activist for veterans.
DETROIT -- Andrew Anthos was a private, gentle man whose twin passions to support military veterans and public transportation earned him a reputation for community service.
For most of the last two decades Anthos frequently rode the bus from Detroit to Lansing to wage a solitary patriotic crusade to light the capitol dome in red, white and blue one night of the year to honor military veterans and police officers.
Anthos, 72, died at 7:27 p.m. Friday at Detroit Receiving Hospital, 10 days after police say an unidentified man struck him on the left side of the head with a metal pipe and left him for dead.
Detroit police, who are still looking for the assailant, have classified the incident as a hate crime because the attacker repeatedly shouted slurs at Anthos. Michigan does not have a specific hate crime law.
Since the attack, Athena Fedenis, Anthos' cousin, said she and the family have received an outpouring of support from around the country.
"He was loved by everybody," said Fedenis. "Everybody knew him."
Locally, gay rights activists have rallied around him.
"The brutal and tragic beating of Andrew Anthos is revolting," said Jeff Montgomery, executive director of the Triangle Foundation, the state's largest anti-violence advocacy group for gay, lesbian and other allied communities. "It's a shame for the broader community that an elder and a much beloved man falls victim to such cold-blooded violence."
Anthos was a familiar figure in Lansing, where he paraded through the streets with handmade posters and petitions to have the capitol dome bathed in the colors of the U.S. flag.
In an interview with The State News in 2003, Anthos said he wanted to inspire other states to similarly light their capitol domes as well. Fedenis said her uncle had a life-long disability and lived alone in his apartment on Antietam, where he was attacked on his way home from the Detroit Public Library, which he visited daily. She said she was grateful to the Triangle Foundation's offer to pay for Anthos' funeral.
Anthos was the second gay man similarly targeted in Detroit in the past 13 months. Detroit Police Sgt. Ryan Lovier is asking anyone with information about Anthos' attacker to call (313) 596-1140.