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“Eat ‘Em Up Tigers Guy” Remembered In Detroit

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Funeral service for James Van Horn. (WWJ/Pat Sweeting)

Funeral service for James Van Horn. (WWJ/Pat Sweeting)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Tigers’ fans stopped by New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit on Friday to pay their final  respects to 65-year-old James “Eat ‘Em Up Tigers” Van Horn who had become a staple at Tigers’ games.

Van Horn and Michael “Dreadlock Mike” Alston, both homeless Detroiters, were killed by a hit-and-run driver who has yet to be found.

Funeral svc for James_ Eat 'Em Up Tigers_ Van Horn 8-2-13 6Van Horn, wearing a Detroit Tigers cap, was laid to rest in a dark navy casket lined in white satin, with the Old English D on the inside of the lid.

As he prepared to enter the church, Detroit resident Tyrone Tate shared his thoughts on the senseless tragedy.

“It’s really disheartening that somebody would hit somebody like that and then just keep going; don’t even stop and see and then call, you know, an ambulance,” said Tate. “Some people are heartless; just don’t have no type of care for human life.”

Friends speaking at the service said Van Horn was an icon who touched many lives, and that fans attending baseball games would miss his smiling face and infectious “Eat ‘Em Up Tigers” chant outside Comerica Park.

Funeral services for “Dread Lock Mike” Alston will be held Saturday at Cantrell Funeral Home on Mack Avenue in Detroit.

The accident happened last Saturday around 2:30 a.m. on Gratiot Avenue and Russell Street, near the I-75/I-375 interchange. Police said the men were discovered lying in the street, unresponsive, and were pronounced at the scene.

Detroit police are looking for the public’s help to find the driver that struck and killed the two men. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP or the Detroit Police homicide unit at 313-596-2260.

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for the tip leading to an arrest in this case. For more details, see the flier HERE.

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