Toledo church stabbing may be linked to incidents in Mich., Va.

| August 11, 2010

The stabbing of a Toledo man outside an Old West End church by a man who asked him for directions is likely linked to at least 20 similar crimes in Flint, Mich. and Leesburg, Va., Toledo Police announced Monday afternoon.

Tony Leno, 59, of central Toledo, was in critical condition at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center Monday, after being stabbed twice in the abdomen, according to Pastor Robert Anderson of Collingwood Presbyterian Church.

The suspect in the stabbing is likely linked to at least 20 other attacks — five of which were fatal — in Michigan and Virginia, according to Toledo Police.

All but one of the victims have been black men alone, and are approached by the suspect who inquired about directions or help with his vehicle.

Mr. Leno, a church custodian, was stabbed multiple times by a passer-by who asked him for directions outside an Old West End church on Saturday evening. He was taking a smoke break in an alley near Collingwood Presbyterian Church, 2108 Collingwood Blvd., about 7:45 p.m. Saturday when he was approached by a man in a sport utility vehicle.

Police said the man asked for directions as he got out of the vehicle and walked toward Mr. Leno, and as Mr. Leno started pointing and describing the way, the suspect began stabbing him in the abdomen. Mr. Leno told police he had never seen the man before.

The suspect is described by police as a white or Middle Eastern male about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

He was wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts and appeared to be in his early 30s. He was driving a dark green, older model Chevrolet S-10 Blazer.

It had a tan lower section.

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Category: Church Security

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