|The Joseph Skipper incident in 1994 Detroit has been scrubbed from the history books...|
A man accused of breaking into civil rights pioneer Rosa Park’s house didn’t know she lived there, but he recognized her once inside, police said yesterday.
“He said, ‘Aren’t you Rosa Parks?’ She said, ‘Yeah,’ and he went ahead and robbed her anyway,” Detroit police investigator Daniel Budz said.
Joseph Skipper, 28, was arraigned yesterday on three charges: two counts of breaking and entering and unarmed robbery and one count of breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny. The charges involve three burglaries of elderly women’s homes.
Magistrate Margaret Baylor entered an innocent plea for Mr. Skipper, who faces up to 15 years on the charges, and ordered him held in lieu of $150,000 bond.
Mr. Skipper also had an outstanding $5,000 bond for failing to appear in court in July on a charge he had broken into a church on Christmas Day.
Mrs. Parks, 81, was beaten Tuesday and robbed of $53. She was treated a hospital.
When caught by a priest as he attempted to steal jewelry from a Livonia church rectory in late August, Joseph Skipper allegedly offered something of a confession:
"Do you remember when Rosa Parks was beat up? I did that. I just got out of prison," Skipper told the priest, referencing his 1995 conviction, according to Hometown Life.
Skipper, 43, of Detroit, waived his preliminary hearing in 16th District Court on Tuesday. He's charged with first-degree home invasion, breaking and entering a building and could see additional time as a habitual offender.
The priest found Skipper holding jewelry in the rectory's bedroom and called 911, Lt. Greg Winn of the Livonia Police Department said. He allegedly climbed through the bedroom window after having asked the rectory staff for money earlier in the day.
Skipper was convicted in 1995 of breaking in to Rosa Parks' Detroit home, hitting the civil-rights icon in the face and robbing her of $53.
He blamed a drug problem and was sentenced to an 8- to 15-year sentence in a maximum security correctional facility.