A man attacked by a baseball bat-wielding college student is suing the school where the attack happened, saying it failed to protect the community from the suspect who was later accused of cannibalism.
Joshua Ceasar, 23, was left partially blind after the attack on the campus of Baltimore's Morgan State University in 2012. It came days before the student, Alexander Kinyua, told authorities he killed a man staying with his family and ate the man's heart and parts of his brain.
"In the six months leading up to the attack, Morgan State ignored the escalating warning signs that Mr. Kinyua was unstable and violent and posed a threat to others," said the 20-page lawsuit filed Thursday.
Cesar's lawyer, Steven Silverman, said he will be asking for millions of dollars.
According to the lawsuit, Kinyua began to exhibit strange and violent behavior in fall 2011, including posting "bizarre and troubling" messages on Facebook and Twitter about weapons and world destruction. In December, he had a "violent outburst" in a campus computer lab where he "punched holes in the office walls" and was kicked out of an ROTC program as a result.
Afterward, an instructor told campus police that Kinyua was a "Virginia Tech waiting to happen."
A month later, during a campus forum, Kinyua made cryptic comments about "blood sacrifice," the lawsuit says. And in early May, campus police were told that Kinyua had thrown a rock at an apartment window and that a person fitting his description was seen with a machete. Campus police searched Kinyua's dorm but didn't write a report, the lawsuit says.
About two weeks later, on May 19, Kinyua attacked Ceasar at the Thurgood Marshall Apartments, a campus dorm, beating him with a baseball bat covered in barbed wire and chains. Ceasar, a former Morgan State University student from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., who had transferred to another school, was visiting Kinyua's roommates for graduation festivities. The lawsuit says friends heard screams and found Kinyua standing over Ceasar with a knife.
"Despite the warning signs, Morgan State failed to act to protect students and visitors on campus," the lawsuit says, charging Morgan State did nothing to monitor Kinyua, refer him to treatment or warn the university community.
A spokesman for Morgan State said in an email Thursday that it is university policy not to comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit accuses the college of underreporting crimes on campus in general. It also says Kinyua did seek counseling at the school after the outburst at the ROTC office, but counselors met with him for only a one-hour session and failed to give him any referrals or recommendations on treatment.
Kinyua has pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible for the attack on Ceasar and, as a result, has been committed indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital.
The court case involving the second and even more gruesome attack is at a standstill after Kinyua was found not fit for trial. Authorities arrested Kinyua in late May after his brother found what he thought were human remains in two metal tins in the family's basement. More remains were found outside a church about a mile away. Authorities say Kinyua confessed to killing 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie of Ghana who had been staying with Kinyua's family. Agyei-Kodie was killed several days after the attack on Ceasar.
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