DETROIT (WWJ) – Officials have positively identified two well-known Detroit homeless men killed in a hit-and-run accident early Saturday morning.
The man many knew as the “Eat ‘Em Up Tigers Guy” was 66-year-old James Van Horn; while the man known as “Dreadlock Mike” was 56-year-old Michael Alston, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office.
Both men were often seen outside Detroit sporting events interacting with fans. Van Horn would famously shake a change cup in an over-sized foam hand while shouting the infectious chant, “Eat ‘em up Tigers, Eat ‘em up.”
Van Horn was identified by his daughter; Alston by a guardian.
The accident happened Saturday around 2:30 a.m. on Gratiot Avenue and Russell Street, near the I-75 and I-375 interchange. Police said the men were discovered lying in the street, unresponsive, and were pronounced at the scene.
Police said it appeared the men were crossing the road when they were struck by a small black vehicle that did not stop at the scene.
Both men died from multiple blunt force injuries that would coincide with a hit-and-run accident, according to the medical examiner. An investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAKUP or the Detroit Police homicide unit at 313-596-2260.
The visitation for Van Horn will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at the C.W. Morris Funeral Home on Hamilton in Highland Park. There will be a church service at 11 a.m. at the New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church on Pembroke in Detroit.
No service has yet been set for Dreadlock Mike, and a memorial fund has been set up to cover the costs for both men. Late Monday afternoon, $3,600 had been raised. For more information click HERE.
A Facebook page, Find the Hit and Run Killers of Detroit Icons, has garnered more than 17,000 likes.