Kalamazoo man sought over severe beating of girlfriend
Updated: Tuesday, April 2 2013, 09:07 PM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Deputies are searching for a trained fighter they say used his skills to severely abuse his girlfriend.
Police say 41-year-old Arthur Payne should be considered dangerous.
He's accused of brutally beating his girlfriend, leaving her with severe head injuries.
They say he then took their 2-year-old child to his parents' house and disappeared.
At this point, police have no idea where Arthur Payne may be, but they are looking for him, as he is now wanted on two felony counts of assault.
Family members say the victim's young son was there when it happened, and he woke up to the sound of his mother screaming.
On March 28th, a neighbor at the Pinehurst Townhomes awoke to a phone call. The caller--her 9-year-old neighbor--needed help.
"When he started talking about blood, I kinda freaked out," the neighbor related to Newschannel 3.
She says the boy's mother, 33-year-old Stephanie Janssen was severely injured.
"There was actual chunks of hair missing from her, she was mising teeth, there was blood all over her face, it was swollen and purple," the neighbor said. "It was just horrible."
Police say Payne, an amateur rapper and trained cage fighter badly beat Janssen.
"We get a lot of domestic violence calls, kinda daily," said Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas. "This is one of the worst ones."
Stephanie's mother, Alice, has been sitting at her bedside since that day.
"It's just...it's hard. It's really hard as a parent," Alice said. "We don't know exactly what happened because there's no memory of it."
The neighbor told Newschannel 3, though, that Payne was never nice to Janssen.
"You can just look at his picture and see there's evil in his eyes," she said. "I've heard that his own parents are afraid of him."
Arthur's parents, Vernon Payne, a WMU administrator, and his wife Dorphine, a well-known defense attorney, refused to speak on camera, but said they don't know where Arthur is.
The incident is another blow for the parents, who are already watching one son spend a life sentence in prison for the 1994 murder of two Kalamazoo video store clerks.
For Janssen and her family, though, what they want is to see another Payne behind bars.
"My daughter needs--we need to know that there will be safety," Alice said.
With Payne on the run, she says, there won't be safety to be had.
Stephanie Janssen is still in the hospital, but has been upgraded from critical to serious condition.
As for Payne, police say he is to be considered dangerous.
If you see him, you should not approach him, but simply call 911.