Canton: Video shows man kicked, stomped to death

5:44 AM, Dec 31, 2009   |    comments
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Christopher Anderson died of massive head injuries early Sunday morning after three men jumped out of a car and beat, kicked, and stomped him on a Canton street corner.

"This is one of the most horrible things I have seen in 17 years," said Canton Police Sgt. Eric Risner, as he showed portions of the videotape which recorded the murder and the last moments of Anderson's life.

"Someone knows something," said Risner. "I mean, you have three individuals here that were obviously involved in this brutal attack on this young man."

The horrifying tape shows Anderson walking home about 1 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Rowland Avenue and 14th Street NE in Canton. He had been escorting female guests home from a gathering at a nearby home in the neighborhood.

A car can be seen turning the corner and, moments later, Anderson, sensing danger, is seen running the other way.

A man tackles Anderson and seconds later, two others join in a merciless beating which lasts several minutes, every second of which is recorded on the video.

"Why? What would promote y'all from wanting to do something like this?" lamented Anderson's cousin, Darry Bethea, who had stopped on the street corner Wednesday to look at a growing makeshift memorial.

"He's not that kind of guy," Bethea went on. "You got people here, standing on the corner, shedding tears for this guy and it's just unnecessary."

Anger filled some residents, stunned that a friendly neighbor died only a few doors down from his house.

"He did everything for everyone," said one sign posted on the memorial on a utility pole. Another wrote, "A good man killed by stupidity."

"He loved everybody. It's a sad thing that three guys had to kill him," said Kimberly Schrader, who used to date Anderson.

"It was horrifying. I couldn't imagine someone doing that to somebody," Schrader told WKYC. "Somebody that I loved. And it kills, 'cause, why? Why him? I just don't understand."

Police are at a loss for a motive. Anderson's coat and cell phone were reportedly taken, but those who knew the young man say he didn't have any enemies they knew of.

"Christopher was a good boy, very good hearted and loved people," said his mother, Francine Butler, who lives about a mile away.

"And he always tried to do the right thing," Anderson's grandmother added, from the family's home.

Butler said her son graduated from Timken High School in 2005, and had been taking classes at Stark State, where she works.

"He was a mentor to a lot of people who knew him and a good friend and he was always there for his friends," Butler said. "He did not have to die like that. They did not have to beat my son like that."

Butler issued the same plea Canton police did earlier -- that anyone who knows something should come forward right away.

"Come forth with the truth," she repeated. "Come forth with the truth."

And to her son's killers: "Do the time, for the crime that you committed. That needs to be done."


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