The day after he was assaulted and his vehicle was stolen at a Detroit gas station, gospel recording artist and pastor Marvin L. Winans Thursday called for more fathers to get involved in their sons’ lives and steer them away from violence.
Winans, who delivered a moving eulogy at the February funeral of music icon Whitney Houston, was attacked after three or four young men approached him on Wednesday afternoon, Detroit police said.
“I was putting my gas in the tank and turned around to face them,” Winans said in an interview Thursday. He said one of the young men even struck up a conversation with him. According to Winans, the attacker asked: “What are you listening to?”
Winans responded: “The Al Sharpton Show.”
“Your gas is overflowing,” the man said, prompting Winans to look down.
“When I looked down, one stepped in and hit me from behind,” Winans said. “They pulled me on the ground, and they were kicking me and kicking me. Someone grabbed the car and went. I remember throwing a punch and missing.”
Winans lost a $15,000 Rolex watch, an iPhone, a briefcase and a wallet containing $200, police said. Winans was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for a fractured finger and other bruises. Detroit police found Winans’s 2012 Infiniti QX56 on Thursday afternoon.
The police have arrested two youths, one of whom apparently turned himself in after his grandmother pleaded on television for him to do so. They have also issued warrants for the arrests of a 17- year-old boy and a 20-year-old man.
Winans, who has received multiple Grammy awards, is the third eldest sibling in the legendary gospel family. He said it is hard to believe that such an attack can happen on a “sunny day,” and nobody came to help.
“I feel saddened because those are my brothers, those are my nephews,” Winans said. “I am trying to figure out how as people we have deteriorated to a place where we feel it’s okay . . . to take a car from someone, not to go to work to purchase a car, but to take your car.”
Winans, a pastor of the 3,000-member Perfecting Church in Detroit, asked fathers everywhere to “assume responsibility for their sons. If we don’t raise our children, the streets will. And if the streets raise them, they have no moral center. They have no sense of honor and respect.”
Winans said his ministry operates the the Marvin L. Winans Academy of Fine Arts. “We are getting ready to start pre-K, and yet there are those who have fallen in the cracks,” Winans said. “I will not be afraid of us.”
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