KALAMAZOO, Mich – He’s accused of using his hands as a weapon.
The Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Office is looking for Arthur Omowale Payne, 41, a local rapper and trained boxer accused of badly beating his girlfriend.
“(the victim had) tremendous amount of facial injury, and she was basically beat to a pulp,” said Undersheriff Paul Matyas of the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Office, adding this is one of the worst domestic violence cases his department has ever seen.
The female victim is Payne’s girlfriend and the mother of his infant daughter, according to investigators. She was found barely conscious on the bathroom floor by a neighbor around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 28. The neighbor told FOX 17 she got a phone call from a surprisingly composed nine-year-old boy who had just witnessed the brutal beating of his mother.
“I walked in and there was blood everywhere, all over the walls, there was puddles of it,” the neighbor remembers. “(She had) chunks of her hair missing from her, she was missing teeth, there was blood all over her face, it was swollen and purple.”
The 33-year-old mother was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but not before she told police who had beaten her. After five days, the victim was upgraded to serious condition, and on Monday, police say warrants were issued for Payne on a felony charge of assault with intent to do assault great bodily harm and a second charge of aggravated domestic assault.
Matyas says through the investigation, they’ve learned that Payne is a trained boxer, and a pretty good one.
“He’s got a very athletic build, (he’s a) solid individual,” Undersheriff Matyas explains.
While police are asking the public to keep an eye out for Payne, they consider him to be dangerous and say do not approach him, just call 911 if you see him.
“We think his frame of mind is not very clear at the moment,” Undersheriff Matyas warns.
Undersheriff Matyas says after the assault, Payne took his one-year-old daughter from the home and dropped her off at this parents’ house – his father is Vernon Payne, a former basketball coach and current Assoc. V.P. of Student Affairs at Western Michigan University.
“(His parents) are great people,” said Undersheriff Matyas. “They’re pretty distraught over the situation themselves … and they don’t know where he is either.”
Both children were taken by Child Protective Services and, according to police, are now safe with other family members.
A look into Payne’s past shows a misdemeanor charge for driving without a license and that he plead guilty to retail fraud, but nothing like the felony assault charge he is now facing. FOX 17 also uncovered two Personal Protection Orders filed against Payne in 2001 and 2007; the first was denied and the second was initially granted, but terminated later in court.
Anyone with information on Payne’s whereabouts should contact the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office at 269-383-8821, Silent Observer, or 911, but do not approach him.