Douglas County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the reported beating of a Kansas University professor who gained recent notoriety for his Internet tirades against Christian fundamentalists.
Kansas University religious studies professor Paul Mirecki reported he was beaten by two men about 6:40 a.m. today on a roadside in rural Douglas County. In a series of interviews late this afternoon, Mirecki said the men who beat him were making references to the controversy that has propelled him into the headlines in recent weeks.
“I didn’t know them, but I’m sure they knew me,” he said.
Mirecki said he was driving to breakfast when he noticed the men tailgating him in a pickup truck.
“I just pulled over hoping they would pass, and then they pulled up real close behind,” he said. “They got out, and I made the mistake of getting out.”
He said the men beat him about the upper body with their fists, and he said he thinks they struck him with a metal object. He was treated and released at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
“I’m mostly shaken up, and I got some bruises and sore spots,” he said.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Officials are classifying the case as an aggravated battery. They wouldn’t say exactly where the incident happened, citing the ongoing investigation
The sheriff’s department is looking for the suspects, described as two white males between ages 30 and 40, one wearing a red visor and wool gloves, and both wearing jeans. They were last seen in a large pickup truck.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 843-TIPS or the sheriff’s office at 841-0007.
Mirecki recently wrote online that he planned to teach intelligent design as mythology in an upcoming course. He wrote it would be a “nice slap” in the “big fat face” of fundamentalists.
The remarks caused an uproar, Mirecki apologized, and KU announced last week the class would be canceled.
Also see "College course seeks to debunk intelligent design" and "Professor apologizes for e-mail".