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Grosse Pointe Farms stabbing not random, cops say

Candice Williams, and James David Dickson

The stabbing of a prominent Grosse Pointe Farms interior designer was not random, police said Monday.

“We’re believing it’s an inside job,” said Lt. Richard Rosati of the Grosse Pointe Farms Department of Public Safety. “Not random.” Rosati said police have a solid lead into the assault but he declined to elaborate Monday.

The victim, Daniel Clancy, 69, is in critical condition after police said he was stabbed Sunday afternoon during an altercation at his home on Voltaire Place.

The victim, Daniel Clancy, 69, was in critical condition after police said he was stabbed Sunday afternoon during an altercation at his home on Voltaire Place.

Police were called to the home around 4:30 p.m. after a motorist saw Clancy lying on the sidewalk near his home in a pool of blood, Rosati said.

“The man was somewhat coherent,” he said. “He had wounds to his neck and was bleeding profusely. There was evidence of a struggle inside the home.”

Clancy had just returned home from a shopping trip to Costco, police said. The door to his home was unlocked and there were still groceries in his car, Rosati said.

Brian Taylor, a spokesman for St. John Hospital, said Clancy remained critical Monday.

Daniel Clancy.

The stabbing Sunday left some neighbors wondering why anyone would hurt Clancy.

“It made me sick,” said Joyce Campbell, 65, who has been in the community since the ’70s. She now lives down the street from Clancy’s house, but used to live just around the corner.

Campbell described Clancy as a “great guy.”

She tried to make sense of how someone could be so violently attacked on the streets she walks with her dog.

“Did somebody follow him? I don’t know. It makes me sick,” Campbell said. “But I know (police will) get to the bottom of it.”

The Michigan State Police Crime Lab was on the scene for nearly 12 hours after the incident, Rosati said. Detectives from the State Police also helped as police conducted interviews with Clancy’s family and friends.

Tom and Mickey Roehl know there is no wall around Grosse Pointe Farms, which they’ve called home since 1972.

It’s safe, but they’re vigilant just the same.

If one leaves the house briefly to grab something, they’ll often find that the other has already locked the door by the time they return.

That vigilance is matched by the local public safety department, Mickey Roehl said.

Once, she was making an international call. Rather than press 011, she’d pressed 911 and called the cops. She realized her mistake and quickly hung up.

A minute later she got a phone call. It was the police.

“I’m fine, it was a mistake,” she said.

“Go to your front door,” the voice on the line said.

It was a Grosse Pointe Farms police officer, double-checking it was indeed a mistake and the couple faced no danger.

“Crimes can happen anywhere,” Tom Roehl said as he and his wife took their dog on an early afternoon walk.

That this one happened in Grosse Pointe Farms wasn’t unprecedented. There have been breaking-and-enterings and homicides in the city since they arrived. No, it was the geography within the town that Tom found surprising.

“Whoever did this may not have known they’re a block and a half from the police station,” he said.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

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