I bought lunch for a talkative guy named Demetrius Holloway during my last visit downtown.
He kind of smelled and was missing parts of teeth in his front grill and wore an old dirty T-shirt and torn jeans.
Here is something else you should know about Demetrius. He is a homeless friendly murderer, convicted to 30 years in prison for killing his twin bother during a dispute. His uncle, also named Demetrius Holloway, was one of Detroit’s biggest drug lords and was murdered in broad day light inside The Broadway Clothing store about a half mile from where I met his nephew.
You just never know who you are going to run into on your way to a Tigers game.
During the hustle and bustle of a Tigers pregame thousands of people filled restaurants and drank beers. Others finished up work before heading home. And there was Demetrius who had no home to go to since his mother died a few weeks ago.
I’ve grown weary of people who beg for money because I believe the money often supports drug habits. I’ve offered to buy people a meal and they turn it down. Demetrius was different.
“I’m hungry,” he said. “Could you buy me lunch? I will take anything. I have not eaten in two days. I don’t give a (bleep) what I eat.”
I thought about all the times I told myself I would help a beggar out if I knew he or she wanted a meal. So I broke down and bought lunch for Demetrius who appeared to be in his late 60s.
We walked to Josey’s Tacos on Grand River near Harmony Park and it appears as if Demetrius was a repeat customer.
“They got the best cheeseburgers,” Demetrius said.
The woman behind the cash register eyed us suspiciously and asked: “Are you sure you want to pay for his meal?”
I told her I did and she charged me $8.95.
Demetrius kept chatting and said his twin brother pulled a gun on him during an argument. But the gun jammed when he pulled the trigger. They tussled and the gun went off killing his brother. Demetrius Holloway got 30 years for that which leads me to believe there is a little big more to this story.
I’ve always wondered how people end up homeless. I’ve heard of bad business deals and bad marriages that led to people being on the streets. Drug abuse and mental illness is also a leading cause from people I’ve talked to.
And some are murderers who like to talk too much.