January 18, 2017
9:00 am

Fight Turns to Murder at Cassopolis Factory

An early morning dispute at a Cass County plastics manufacturing plant turned into murder today, with one man dead and a co-worker in jail.

Cass County Sheriff Richard Behnke reports that his office is investigating a homicide that occurred at approximately 5:26am this morning, Wednesday January 11, 2017. The incident occurred at the Ameri-Kart manufacturing plant located at 19300 Grange Street which is in Mason Township of Cass County near Cassopolis.
 
At 5:26am Cass County Central Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call from workers at Ameri-Kart, regarding an altercation between two employees. While Deputies and ambulances were enroute it was discovered that one of the employees had stabbed the other with a knife. The suspect in the case was detained by other employees who witnessed the incident. The victim was treated by company emergency responders and later ambulance personnel from Edwardsburg and SEPSA ambulance services. They were not able to revive the man from his injuries, and he subsequently was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
Preliminary investigation shows that the two men involved were working together at the plant. They apparently were on a break when, for an unknown reason, a fight ensued. Witnesses report that they thought it was a fist fight until they saw the victim bleeding from the neck area and realized that the suspect had a knife. The victim left the break area to get away from the suspect. The suspect went into another area of the business where he was detained by other employees until Cass County Sheriffs Deputies arrived.
 
The victim, 24-year old Jan Carlos Velazques Mendez, recently of Elkhart but originally from Puerto Rico, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy will be performed at Western Michigan University tomorrow.
 
The suspect, a 23-year old man from Elkhart is being held at the Cass County Jail pending authorized charges. His name is being withheld pending arraignment.

Ameri-Kart is an industry-leading rotational molder and thermo-former manufacturing a broad range of custom plastic parts for the RV and marine industries as well as other custom applications. 
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Topics : Law_Crime
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