GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police confirmed Wednesday that they suspect the man stabbed on board a Rapid bus was the victim of a random attack.
Pascal Rurangmirwa, 69, was stabbed in the face on Monday as he sat on the bus. The attack was caught on the bus’ surveillance system, which showed no previous interaction between the perpetrator and the victim.
Rurangmirwa, whose ability to see is limited and who uses a cane to walk, is from Congo and says he moved to the United States in 2000 with his wife. She has since died and he now lives with friends in the Grand Rapids area. He was heading back home from a class to help him with his English when he was stabbed.
“I was sitting in a disability chair and he was behind the bus and he come to me, he hit me,” Rurangmirwa said. “For what? I don’t know.”
The injuries Rurangmirwa received were relatively minor and he was released from the hospital shortly after the incident. Police have not released information on what weapon was used in the attack.
Leroy Davis, 41, the man accused in the stabbing, was in court Wednesday afternoon to hear the charges against him.
He was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and charged as a fourth-time habitual offender. That means he could be sentenced to up to life in prison if convicted on the charge. His minimum sentence would be 25 years.
In court, Davis disputed one of the alleged convictions that prompted the enhanced charge, saying he thought one of the cases had been thrown out in a “psychiatric court” in Flint. Grand Rapids District Court Judge Kimberly Schaefer said he should discuss his concerns with his attorney.
After the judge set his bond at $250,000, Davis had a message for her as before getting up from his seat.
“Bless you, too,” he said.
Rurangmirwa said he believes that Davis suffers from mental illness.
“Maybe he’s sick,” Rurangmirwa supposed. “I think so.”
After boarding the bus, Davis was talking to himself enough that other passengers were worried, Rurangmirwa said.
It’s part of the reason he says he’s already forgiven the man who stabbed him.
“I have to because I am Christian,” Rurangmirwa said. “He hit me because maybe he is sick.”
As for what should happen to the perpetrator, Rurangmirwa said he has no opinion.
“I don’t know,” he said. “That is the problem of the police.”
Rurangmirwa said the incident makes him nervous about riding the Rapid again, but he will because he says he has no choice.
“I have to because I cannot drive,” he said. “I have glaucoma.”