The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 2, 2013

Joplin man beaten by man to whom he provided ride

— A 65-year-old Joplin man was taken to an emergency room Monday for treatment of injuries he suffered in a beating at the hands of a man he had given a ride.

Officer Michael Gayman of the Joplin Police Department said Michael L. Brooks was taken to Freeman Hospital West after being brought to the police station with a bloody nose and mouth and an injury to the back of one of his hands.

Gayman said Brooks reportedly was attacked by a man he gave a ride while driving back to Joplin from Galena, Kan. Brooks saw the man walking near West Seventh Street and Malang Road, and stopped and offered him a ride. The man asked to be taken to St. Louis Avenue and Seventh Street.

When Brooks pulled into a parking lot in the 1400 block of East Seventh Street, the man suddenly began punching him and apologizing at the same time, explaining that while he appreciated the ride, he was going to have to take his money and his car from him.

Brooks told police that the man did not stop punching him until an elderly couple happened to start walking toward the vehicle in the lot. The assailant got out and walked away without having taken anything from Brooks, Gayman said. The incident remained under investigation Tuesday by police, he said.