Victim in August Pontiac gas station attack dies, sheriff seeks murder charges

Rashaan Denee Redmond

The Oakland County Sheriff is seeking upgraded charges to murder against a man who was charged with the savage beating of a man at a Sunoco in August after the victim died in hospice care.

The sheriff's department released a statement on Wednesday stating it seeking first-degree murder charges against Rashaan Redmond, 37, after the victim, 36-year-old Blake Sanders, died this week in Flint.

According to the sheriff, Redmond has been in custody for months after the August 21 beating of Redmond outside a Sunoco on Woodward Ave in Pontiac

Oakland County sheriff's deputies were called to a Sunoco in the 45000 block of Woodward Avenue at 5 a.m. on reports that a man was unconscious after being assaulted. When deputies found the victim, he was foaming at the mouth and not breathing.

Surveillance video showed Sanders sitting in front of the gas station when a man pulled up in an SUV and started to talk to him before assaulting him for several minutes.

Deputies said the man kicked the victim in the head and face multiple times. The man also hit the victim in the face before fleeing in the SUV. The victim suffered brain trauma from the attack. 

The sheriff said that Redmond offered Sanders $1 to put air in his tires but became agitated and sucker-punched as he was doing the job. That's when the sheriff said he kicked and stomped Sanders in the head and face a dozen times before walking away.  

The sheriff said he returned and slapped the unconscious man, spit on him, threw his belongings in the air, and then drove off from the gas station, leaving Sanders with major brain trauma. 

Sanders was being treated for the past 2 months for his significant injuries but died Wednesday morning.

Authorities said the attack was so severe that they will not release the surveillance video. 

"Mr. Sanders was the victim of a deliberate and merciless attack at the hands of this defendant," Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. "Such violence against an innocent victim who had done nothing wrong yet was attacked with unimaginable ferocity and anger. It is impossible to comprehend how life has so little meaning to this defendant."

Three days after the assault, Redmond was arrested and initially charged with assault with intent to murder but could face murder charges.